Tinubu Orders EFCC Chair to Launch Probe; Suspends Betta Edu

Betta Edu, Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has been immediately suspended from her position by President Bola Tinubu.

Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, released a statement on Monday afternoon announcing the minister’s suspension.

On Sunday, the president mandated an investigation into Edu’s ministry.

The purported sanction of N585,198,500.00 to be transferred into a personal account has engulfed Edu in controversy.

In a letter that carries the minister’s signature, she allegedly instructed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the funds to an individual named Oniyelu Bridget as grants for vulnerable groups in four states.

Madein clarified that her office had received a request to make certain payments from the humanitarian ministry, but had chosen not to comply.

After her suspension, Edu—the youngest member of the president’s cabinet at the time—said that she would not misuse public monies and that there were plots to discredit her.

By the way, Sadiya Farouq, who was Edu’s predecessor, is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly laundering N37.1 billion while she was a minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The President ordered Ola Olukoyede, the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), “to conduct a thorough inquiry into all elements of the financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, as well as one or more agencies thereunder.” This directive came in a Monday statement from the president.

The president has ordered the suspended minister to cooperate “completely with the investigating authorities while they conduct their investigation” and turn over any relevant documents to the ministry’s permanent secretary.

“Additionally, the President has appointed a panel headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other things, assess the social investment programmes’ financial framework and architecture. The goal is to reform the relevant institutions and programmes in a strong effort to eradicate any institutional weaknesses, make sure low-income households benefit, and restore public trust in the initiative.”

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