Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, after a leaked memo showed she requested that the sum of N585.2m be transferred to a private account in the name of one Oniyelu Bridget as grants for vulnerable groups in four states.
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, said her office refused to effect the transfer as activists demanded that the minister be probed.
The President this week suspended Edu and asked the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede “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” notes presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement.
“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.”
According to the statement, Edu “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.”
The troubled Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Ministry is already the subject of an ongoing investigation into alleged financial abuses to the tune of N37.1 billion by Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Farouq who served as a minister under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.