Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu suspended on Monday the nation’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, with instant impact over allegations of transferring funds associated to the federal government’s social welfare program into a non-public checking account.
The suspension order issued by the Particular Advisor to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, is in tandem with the president’s dedication to “uphold the very best requirements of integrity, transparency, and accountability within the administration of the commonwealth of Nigerians.” The president additional ordered the Govt Chairman of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) to conduct a radical investigation into the alleged monetary transactions, and the minister was directed to “cooperate with the investigating authorities.” A panel headed by the coordinating minister of the financial system and minister of finance was shaped to totally study the current social funding packages to reform them to take away any institutional weak point and acquire public belief.
The arrest comes on the heels of a leaked memo which revealed that Edu requested the Accountant Basic of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to switch public funds of about N985 million from the Nationwide Social Funding workplace account to the non-public account of Bridget Oniyelu, the accountant of a federal authorities poverty intervention challenge referred to as Grants for Weak Teams which was below Edu’s ministry. Additional, the minister mentioned within the memo that N219.4 million is to be transferred to the susceptible folks in Akwa Ibom State, N73.8 million to Cross River State, N219.4 million to Lagos State, and N72.4 million to Ogun State.
Betta Edu denied the allegations, stating that it was a plan to “tarnish the picture of administration” and added that below her watch, “nobody will embezzle Authorities funds as earlier than.” Oluwatoyin Madei countered Betta’s assertion as, on Saturday, she admitted that the workplace acquired Edu’s request for the switch, which, nonetheless, was not honoured.
Below Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2009, which are supposed to stop fraud and corruption, chapter seven, part 713 states that “personal cash shall in no circumstances be paid right into a authorities checking account, nor shall any public cash be paid into a non-public account.” The part additional states that any officer discovered responsible of the act “is deemed to have finished so with fraudulent intention.”
Edu’s arrest over misappropriation of public funds follows the EFCC investigation of the suspended Nationwide Coordinator of the Nationwide Social Funding Programme Company (NSIPA), Halima Shehu, over alleged N37.1 billion fraud within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. As well as, Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Umar Farouq, is being investigated by the EFCC for alleged fraud. This taints the repute of the current authorities, which got here to energy in 2023 on the promise of eradicating continual corruption and poverty from the nation.