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Tinubu Suspends Minister Over N585m Scam

Tinubu Suspends Minister Over N585m Scam
Tinubu Suspends Minister Over N585m Scam

Touchaheart – President Bola Tinubu has suspended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Betta Edu, over an alleged fraud involving N585 million.

The suspension was announced on Monday by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale.

Ajuri Ngelale said the president acted in accordance with his pledge to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of public funds.

The president had ordered a thorough investigation into the alleged fraud on Sunday, after a leaked memo revealed that the minister had instructed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585 million to the private bank account of a project accountant in her ministry, Bridget Oniyelu.

The memo, which was widely circulated on social media and in the press, sparked outrage among Nigerians, who demanded that the minister be held accountable for the misuse of taxpayers’ money.

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Tinubu approves N12bn outstanding payments for Super Eagles, others

Betta Edu Denies Wrongdoing, Claims Payment Was for Vulnerable Groups

The minister, however, denied any wrongdoing, and claimed that the payment was meant for vulnerable groups in four states: Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos.

She said the allegations were baseless and politically motivated, and that she had followed due process in disbursing the funds.

She also defended the practice of making payments into private accounts of staff members, especially project accountants, saying it was legal and common within the civil service.

She said the project accountant, Bridget Oniyelu, was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the humanitarian interventions in the four states, and that the payment was made to her account for ease of coordination and accountability.

Various Groups and Individuals Call for Unfettered Probe, Sanction of Culprits

The minister’s explanation, however, did not satisfy many Nigerians, who called for an unfettered probe and sanction of the culprits.

Among those who demanded a thorough investigation were the Peoples Democratic Party, the main opposition party, which accused the president and the minister of corruption and abuse of power.

The party also urged the National Assembly to exercise its oversight function and ensure that the minister and her accomplices were brought to justice.

Other groups and individuals who joined the call for a probe included the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, a civil society organization that advocates for transparency and accountability in governance; Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria and a human rights lawyer; the Yoruba Youth Assembly, a socio-cultural group that represents the interests of the Yoruba people; and other concerned citizens and activists.

The president, in his statement, assured Nigerians that he would not tolerate any form of corruption or malfeasance in his administration, and that he would decisively punish anyone found culpable of violating the law and the public trust.

He also urged Nigerians to remain calm and patient, as he awaited the outcome of the investigations.

 

More details to follow…

 

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