Investigate Betta Edu’s N585 million grant payment to a private account, SERAP tells Tinubu.

Another source of outrage has been the purported direction from Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, to Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, the Accountant-General of the Federation, to transfer N585 million to an individual’s bank account.

A letter with the payment instructions attached, dated December 20, 2023, was leaked. Edu directed the accountant-general to deposit N585,189,500 into Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola’s UBA account in a letter he sent.

Sections of Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2009 aimed at preventing fraud and corruption are violated by the transfer.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) demanded that President Tinubu investigate the aforementioned payment in a statement in response.

With regard to the alleged transfer of N585.2 million from vulnerable individuals in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun states into a private account, the group demands that the President order Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and relevant anti-corruption agencies to “promptly and thoroughly probe the situation.”

“Tinubu should direct Mr. Fagbemi and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate whether the N585.2 million has been paid into any private account and to identify and publish the names of anyone who may have received the money,” SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare wants Tinubu to say.

“The statement emphasised the importance of holding individuals accountable for any misuse or misappropriation of public funds and demanding their immediate return to the public treasury for distribution to legitimate beneficiaries,” it said.

If public funds are transferred to private accounts, it could create the impression of crime and conceal any possible diversion of cash.

“Recovering any diverted public funds and conducting an investigation into these allegations are profound and justifiable public interests,” the statement read. “The public funds meant to take care of the needy must be spent honestly and accountable.”

The minister, however, has posted on X to deny any impropriety and say that the payment was made in accordance with due process.

“We uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability!” No one will steal from the government again while I’m in charge of the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Defamation efforts against this government, herself, or the Ministry would be futile, she declared.

The government assistance programme is tarnished by fraud charges.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Sadiya Umar-Farouk, who was Edu’s predecessor, for possible fraud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: