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EFCC Files N33 Billion Fraud Case Against Ex-Power Minister 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 12-count charge against Saleh Mamman, a former Minister of Power, over an alleged N33.8 billion fraud. 

The Commission filed the charges  in the Federal High Court in Abuja, 

The EFCC’s charge sheet, accuses Mamman of conspiring with officials from the Ministry of Power and several private companies to embezzle funds meant for the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Projects. 

According to the EFCC, Mamman and his co-defendants used various schemes to indirectly divert N33,804,830,503.73 from the projects’ budgets. 

The funds were reportedly intended to develop these crucial energy infrastructure projects aimed at boosting Nigeria’s power generation capacity.

The EFCC alleges that Mamman, with the assistance of one Samson Bitrus, made a cash payment of $655,700 outside of financial institutions, a move that ostensibly aimed to obscure the origins of the funds and evade regulatory scrutiny. 

The charges detail several instances of Mamman’s alleged financial misconduct, including the use of N20 million for a one-bedroom apartment rent and another N15 million for similar expenses over a period between September 2020 and March 2021. 

Additionally, he is accused of using N12.5 million for rent from September 2021 to January 2022.

The charges against Mamman are grounded in sections 18(a) and 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended, which address the illegal conversion of funds and criminal breach of trust. 

The EFCC asserts that Mamman’s actions constitute a violation of these provisions and that he should be held accountable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Saleh Mamman, appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019, served as Minister of Power until his dismissal in September 2021.

 His tenure was marked by several controversies and allegations of inefficiency in addressing Nigeria’s power sector challenges.

 In May 2023, Mamman was previously arrested by the EFCC over a separate N22 billion fraud allegation, further highlighting ongoing concerns about corruption and mismanagement in the power sector.

Mamman is scheduled to appear before Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 11 for his arraignment.

This upcoming court session will be a pivotal moment in the legal proceedings against Mamman, as it will set the stage for the trial and potentially reveal more details about the alleged financial crimes.

The case underscores the EFCC’s continued efforts to combat corruption at high levels of government, particularly in sectors critical to national development. The outcome of this trial could have significant implications for Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign and the future accountability of public officials.

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