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Ex-power minister arrested over alleged N22bn fraud



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Ex-power minister arrested over alleged N22bn fraud

A former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has been arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in connection with an alleged N22bn fraud.

EFCC sources familiar with the matter said Mamman, who was a minister under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), from 2019 to 2021, was arrested and detained at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday after he appeared for questioning.

Buhari had sacked Mamman in 2021, following a minor shake-up in his cabinet.

EFCC sources said the ex-minister is being grilled in connection with a probe into alleged corruption to the tune of N22bn in the execution of some power projects.

“The former minister is being detained over alleged embezzlement and diversion of about N22bn.

“He is being investigated for allegedly conspiring with some staff members of the ministry in charge of the accounts of the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro Electric Power projects to divert N22bn and share among themselves,” a source said.

According to the source, the investigations uncovered properties in Nigeria and overseas allegedly linked to the suspects, while millions of naira and dollars have reportedly been recovered.

Efforts by our correspondent to reach the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, for comments, were unsuccessful, as he neither picked up phone calls nor responded to a text message.

The PUNCH reports that the EFCC had, in November 2022, launched an investigation into the controversial $5.8bn Mambilla Hydro Electric Power project contract to Sunrise Power.

The current Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, had disclosed that the Sunrise litigation on the project was the only problem hampering its commencement.

“The EFCC has stepped into the matter and we have given them information about it. We have given them the history of the power project. Our lawyers have interfaced with the anti-graft agency. Unless we are able to pull out of litigation, we can’t do anything.

“I don’t think the investor will bring his money where there is an encumbrance,” Aliyu said in a 2022 report

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