We Recovered N75m From Ex-Minister’s Wife – EFCC

Tanimu Turaki was a former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs during the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan between 2013 and 2015.

He also served as the Minister for the Federal Ministry of Labour between 2014 and 2015.

Hamma-Adama, the fifth prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Turaki, made the observations before Justice Ekwo on Wednesday.

The EFCC had arraigned Turaki alongside his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu, and two firms, Samtee Essentials Ltd and Pasco Investment Ltd, on a 16-count charge of money laundering.

Although Turaki and Okpetu pleaded not guilty to the charges, the anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants used the companies to launder the fund totalling N845m taken from the two ministries where the ex-minister held sway under the Jonathan administration.

While being led in evidence by the counsel to the EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, the witness said about N359m was moved from the Ministry of Special Duties for a sensitisation project for the government.

Hamma-Adama, who was the lead investigator in the agency, however, said the money was later transferred in tranches into private individuals’ accounts.

Giving the breakdown, he said N45m was allegedly transferred to the ex-Minister’s brother, Abdullahi Maigwandu, through his Zenith Bank account.

Out of the N45m, he said Maigwandu transferred N20m to the Guarantee Trust Bank account of Halima Tanimu Turaki, the ex-minister’s wife.

According to the fifth prosecution witness, the sum of N20m was transferred to O-Pec Nig Ltd.

He said the remaining N5m was withdrawn in China using the ATM of Maigwandu by Halima to procure furniture items.

“The sum of N30m was transferred to Abubakar Sani Gude’s Zenith Bank account from the ministry’s account and the N30m was sent to the wife of the first defendant (Turaki),” he said.

Hamma-Adama said when Maigwandu was invited for interrogation, he confessed that the money came from the ministry and he neither had any business with the ministry nor engaged in any sensitisation exercise.

The witness said Maigwandu, a civil servant in Kebbi with a monthly salary of N33,000, also told the EFCC that the N45m was received by the ex-Minister’s wife.