President Tinubu Suspends Humanitarian Minister, Betta Edu Over Fraud Allegations

Suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu,.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect.

Her suspension according to a statement issued by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale on Monday, is in line with Tinubu’s “avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians”.

The President also directed the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, as well as one or more agencies thereunder.

“The suspended Minister is hereby directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and she is further directed by the President to fully cooperate with the investigating authorities as they conduct their investigation.

“Furthermore, the President has tasked a panel that is headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other functions, conduct a comprehensive diagnostic on the financial architecture and framework of the social investment programmes with a view to conclusively reforming the relevant institutions and programmes in a determined bid to eliminate all institutional frailties for the exclusive benefit of disadvantaged households and win back lost public confidence in the initiative”, the statement further read.

……..Tinubu Orders Probe Of Betta Edu’s Ministry Following Allegations Of Fraud

Recall that the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, announced on Sunday that the President ordered a probe into allegations of fraud in the ministry.

The statement read in part: “The Ministry of Information and National Orientation acknowledges the concerns raised by the public regarding the alleged payment of funds into a private account by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. We are aware of the narratives circulating widely and wish to assure Nigerians that the Government takes these issues most seriously.

“The Federal Government, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is transparent and accountable to the people, and committed to ensuring that public funds are allocated and utilized effectively and efficiently to address the needs of Nigerians.

“In light of recent events, the President has directed that a thorough and comprehensive investigation be conducted to ascertain the accuracy and validity of the reported details.

“The government is determined to unravel the truth as it relates to this matter, and assures that appropriate action will be taken to ensure that any breaches and infractions are identified and decisively punished, in line with the Administration’s commitment to public accountability and due process.

………….AGF Denies Approving Betta Edu’s Payment Request Of N585m

Before the ongoing probe, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Dr Oluwatoyin Madein, denied giving approval to the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to pay public funds into a private account.

Madein in a statement issued by the Director Press at OAGF, Bawa Mokwa, clarified that the OAGF does not make payments on behalf of MDAs for projects and programmes implemented by the MDAs.

The AGF was reacting to media reports concerning a request from the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to pay grants to vulnerable groups in some states of the Federation.

According to the statement allocations are released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget, and such MDAs are responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.

The AGF further explained that although her office received the said request from the ministry, it did not carry out the payment. The ministry was, however, advised on the appropriate steps to take in making such payments in line with the established payment procedure.

The statement read in part: “The AGF noted that in such situations, payments are usually processed by the affected ministries as self-accounting entities and no bulk payment is supposed to be made to an individual’s account in the name of Project Accountant.

“She added that such payment should be sent to the beneficiaries through their verified bank accounts”.

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