Crime News

We recovered N75m from ex-Minister’s wife, Halima Turaki – EFCC tells court

ABUJA, Nigeria – An operative with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Bello Hamma-Adama, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that a sum of N75 million was recovered from Halima, wife of a former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki.

Tanimu Turaki was a Minister in the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government between 2013 and 2015.

Turaki also served as a supervising Minister for the Federal Ministry of Labour between 2014 and 2015.

Hamma-Adama, the 5th prosecution witness (PW5) in the ongoing trial of Turaki, made the disclosure before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He, however, said the money was later transferred in tranches into private individuals’ accounts.

Giving the breakdown, Hamma-Adama, who was the lead investigator in the agency, said N45 million was transferred to the Minister’s brother, Abdullahi Maigwandu, through his Zenith Bank account.

Out of the N45 million, he said Maigwandu transferred N20 million to the Guarantee Trust Bank account of Halima Tanimu Turaki, the ex-minister’s wife.

According to him, the sum of N20 million was transferred to O-Pec Nig Ltd.

Hamma-Adama said that the remaining N5 million was withdrawn in China using the ATM of Maigwandu by Halima to procure furniture items.

He said, “N30 million was transferred to Abubakar Sani Gude’s Zenith Bank account from the ministry’s account, and the N30 million was sent to the wife of the 1st defendant (Turaki).

“We called for the Maigwandu’s account statement in Zenith Bank. We discovered he is a civil servant in Kebbi on a salary of about N33, 000.

“We suspected a case of money laundering, and we did a network analysis, and we discovered that he could not have owned that money because he is on N33, 000 salary.”

“He said he is a brother to the former minister and that the money was transferred on his instruction,” he added.

However, the Judge, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 for trial continuation.

Recall that the EFCC had arraigned the former Minister (1st defendant) alongside his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu (2nd defendant), and two firms; Samtee Essentials Ltd and Pasco Investment Ltd, on 16 counts of money laundering.

The duo had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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