Last updated on January 8th, 2024 at 10:31 pm
As a Minister of Humanitarian Affairs (August 21, 2019 to May 29, 2023), Sadiya Umar-Farouq battled lots of controversies and allegations, including the multiple delayed payment of salaries of N-Power beneficiaries under her watch.
The latest controversy linked to the former Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons is an allegation that a contractor under ministry, James Okwete, withdrew over N37 billion that was spent under questionable circumstances.
Sadiya has denied all allegations and wrongdoings. She denied ever knowing or met the said N-Power contractor Okwete.
Here is the biography of a woman whose political career is shrouded with allegations, like her colleagues in Nigeria’s political landscape.
She was the first Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, a ministry that was created by Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
- Date of Birth: November 5, 1974
- Birthday: November 5 every year
- Schools attended: Federal Government Girls College, Gusau; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
- Present Political affiliation: All Progressive Congress (APC)
- State of origin: Zamfara State
- Twitter handle: @Sadiya_farouq
On the national scene, little was known about her until she was appointed a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Early life and education:
Sa’adiya Farouk was born November 5, 1972 in the present day Zamfara State, Northern Nigeria.
She was educated at the Federal Government Girls’ College Gusau, Zamfara State before proceeding to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University where she graduated with a BSc in Business Administration in 1998.
From the same institution, she earned a Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy in 2008 and another Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2011 in ABU.
She underwent her one-year mandatory service year at the National Assembly, where she was also employed as an administrator at the National Assembly Service Commission as an Administrative Officer II in 2003 where she rose to the Position of Principal Administrative Officer.
From 1999 – 2000, Farouq served with the Nigeria National Assembly, under the Senate Committee on Aviation and worked with the Senate Committee on Appropriation.
She also worked as the Operations Manager at Pinnacle Travels and Tours Ltd (a Nigerian travel agency) between 2001 to 2003.
Sadiya Umar Farouq’s Sojourn to politics:
In 2010, she resigned from the National Assembly Commission to officially join politics as a member of the defunct Congress for Progress Change (CPC).
President Muhammadu Buhari was the presidential candidate of CPC.
She rose to become the National treasurer of the CPC between 2011 to 2013 and when CPC dissolved into a new party, All Progressive Congress (APC), Sadiya Umar Farouq became the Interim National Treasurer of the new party from 2013-2014.
Then she was appointed as a Member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council where she served in the directorates of election planning and monitoring, field operations, and fundraising, in preparation for the 2015 general elections which Buhari as the presidential candidate of APC won.
Her appointment by Buhari in 2016
On September 26, 2016, Sadiya was appointed the Honourable Federal Commissioner (HFC) of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).
A few weeks after he assumed office, President Buhari moved the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) from the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management. And on August 21, 2019, she was among 44-member of Buhari’s Nextlevel cabinet.
Is she married?
We’re sure she is married, though all media reports are silent about her marriage and family.
There were rumours that President Buhari was going to take her as his second wife, but it turned out to be FAKE NEWS on October 11, 2019, a day that was rumoured to be D-day.
Her Wikipedia page reads:
“She is rumored to be getting married to the current serving president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on the 11th of October, 2019.”
Sadiya Umar Farouq husband
At the time of this report, we do not have vital info about her husband or marital life. She may have decided to keep her family out of the press.
However, it was reported that Sadiya got married to Nigeria’s former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Baba Abubakar in a mosque located in the Maitama high brow area of Abuja on September 18, 2020, vanguardngr says in its September 26, 2020, reported citing source like VOA Hausa.
Who is Sadiya Umar Farouq to Buhari?
She is one of the cabinet members in Buhari’s led regime. Some say they are close, but we don’t think anyone should be worried about that.
President Buhari has preferences among his cabinet members. Recall that Governor Kayode Fayemi was one of the favorites of the president before he resigned to contest for Ekiti election.
And the report that Buhari is getting married to her on Friday, October 11, 2019, turned out to be fake. Some people circulated invitation cards on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Service to her community:
It’s gathered she is planning to launch Sadiya Umar Farouq Foundation for her to give back to her society.
N37 Billion Financial Malfeasance Under Sadiya
Seven months after leaving office, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency beamed its searchlight on the activities of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, which Sadiya Umar-Farouk supervised.
The anti-graft body found that over N37 billion, specifically N37,170,855,753.44, was allegedly withdrawn and sent to 38 different bank accounts.
While the money has not directly been linked to the former minister, it is instructive to note that no money could leave any ministry without the knowledge of the supervising minister.
A report by The Punch revealed that one contractor named James Okwete operated the 38 bank accounts where the monies were moved to, 53 companies were also traced to him.
It was learnt that Okwete who received the funds from a government account linked to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs immediately began transferring to different accounts.
The document read:
“Fifty-three companies were traced to the suspect. He used 47 of the companies to lift Federal Government contracts amounting to N27,423,824,339.86.
“Okwete is associated with 143 bank accounts in 12 commercial banks in which 134 of the 143 accounts are corporate accounts linked to different companies.”The Punch
One of such transfers amounting to N6,746,034,000.00 was wired from Okwete to a foreign exchange operator.
He also took N540,000,000.00 in cash, purchased luxury cars with N288,348,600.00, and bought mansions in the FCT and Enugu State with N2,195,115,000.00.
Her successor Dr Betta Edu within 5 months in office also found herself in a pool of alleged financial misappropriation. Edu was kicked out of office by President Tinubu and launched a full investigation.
I don’t know James Okwete – Sadiya
The former Humanitarian Affairs Minister, who disclosed she had contacted his legal team to clear her name of all allegations, denied knowing James Okwete, describing him as “someone completely unknown to me.
“The linkages and associations to my person are spurious,” she said in a terse response.
The wife of former Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff disclosed that she would not engage in any form of media trial, saying, “I remain proud to have served my country and would defend my actions whenever I am called upon to do so.”
EFCC’s investigation continues on the matter.