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HomeMetro NewsAssets seized, millions uncovered in Nigerian Agriculture Ministry graft probe

Assets seized, millions uncovered in Nigerian Agriculture Ministry graft probe

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In a swift sting operation that unfolded on Thursday morning, around five senior officials from the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development were apprehended by operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC).

The arrests were made on the 5th Floor of the Bank of Agriculture Building, located in the Central Business District of Garki, Abuja.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the ICPC had detained four of the officials for a period of five days before their subsequent release, with one director reportedly released due to health reasons.

This development has reportedly instilled a sense of unease within the ranks of the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services and other affiliated bodies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The ongoing investigation is said to be linked to allegations of embezzlement and diversion of funds earmarked for monitoring exercises and awareness programs. The diversion of funds has reportedly hindered the effective monitoring and evaluation of farm inputs across various initiatives.

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Substantial financial irregularities have come to light during the probe, including the discovery of over N200 million in the bank account of one of the implicated officials. Furthermore, a bank account belonging to one of the official’s children was found to contain over N100 million.

In a separate instance, a significant sum of N250 million in cash was uncovered at the Abuja residence of another suspect.

The ICPC’s investigations have also revealed substantial inflows of funds into the bank accounts of the suspects, including one account that received over N60 million within a six-month period.

As part of the operation, the ICPC has taken possession of assets, including land holdings, a bakery, and an herbal hospital.

A spokesperson for the ICPC, Azuka Ogugua declined to provide specific details regarding the ongoing investigation. “We don’t provide real-time updates on our cases to the media.

Our approach is not to conduct trials in the media. We are committed to upholding ethical standards and ensuring due process. When the case progresses to court, information will be publicly accessible,” Ogugua stated.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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