Tinubu suspends a minister leading to drama at Aso Rock and an EFCC invitation. Here’s what has happened so far with Betta Edu’s case.
Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has faced negative attention six months after her appointment.
Edu, at 36, is the first minister under President Bola Tinubu to face public condemnation for a crime not yet confirmed by authorities or courts.
A document revealed that in late December, the minister directed the Account General of the federation to pay money into a private account.
The leaked documents, which they could not verify, showing the mandate Dr. Edu allegedly signed.
On Monday, President Bola Tinubu ordered the immediate suspension of Dr. Betta Edu.
The suspension was announced in a statement signed by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Monday.
The suspension is due to ongoing corruption allegations involving Minister Betta Edu.
Ngelale stated this aligns with the commitment to uphold integrity, transparency, and accountability in managing Nigerians’ commonwealth.
The President also directed the EFCC’s Executive Chairman to investigate all financial transactions involving the ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation and its agencies.
A video surfaced shortly after the suspension showing Betta Edu leaving Aso Rock.
Rumors suggest she went to the State House to meet the president, but it’s unclear if she met President Tinubu.
The EFCC, an anti-corruption agency, has invited the minister.
Sadiya Umar-Farouk, former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, posted on social media about honoring an EFCC invitation to answer questions about the humanitarian funds issue.
The Nigerian government announced plans to investigate stories about payments made by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
Local media reported she instructed the payment in a letter made public, dated December 20, 2023.
Local media say the letter titled “Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun States” directed the Accountant-General of the Federation to transfer money to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola’s UBA account.
Amidst reactions, President Bola Tinubu ordered a comprehensive investigation to confirm these allegations.
Mohammed Idris, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation, spoke about rumors that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation misused public funds.
He acknowledged public concerns about alleged fund transfers into a private account by the ministry, assuring Nigerians of the government’s serious attention to these issues.
What’s causing this uproar?
In December 2023, social media rumors started about Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, allegedly diverting money to a private account.
Local media reported she instructed the payment in a letter that surfaced publicly, dated December 20, 2023.
Local media describe the letter titled “Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun States,” directing the Accountant-General of the Federation to transfer money to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola’s UBA account.
A recent document alleges she transferred N585,198,500.00 into a personal account.
This news angered many Nigerians.
‘We don’t make payments for MDAs’ – AGF
The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation responded on January 6, 2024, to Betta Edu’s claim that she directed the Accountant General to pay grants to vulnerable groups in several states.
The Accountant General’s statement clarified, “OAGF does not make payments for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for their projects and programs.
They release allocations to self-accounting MDAs as per the budget, and these MDAs are responsible for their project implementations and payments.
The AGF stated that although they received the request from the ministry, they did not process the payment.
The AGF noted that in such cases, payments are usually processed by the ministries themselves, and they should not make any bulk payments to an individual account as a project accountant.
What Betta Edu has said
Amidst the controversy, Minister Betta Edu claimed she did nothing wrong.
She posted on her Twitter handle that people are trying to tarnish her image but emphasized her commitment to accountability and integrity.
“Integrity and accountability are our watchwords! Under my watch at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, no one will steal government funds as before.
“Any plans to tarnish the image of this administration, myself, or the ministry will amount to nothing,”
She also addressed the issue on her Facebook page, stating, “the claims are baseless and an attempt to undermine our efforts to fight corruption and support those in need…”
Betta Edu is the Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation.
President Bola Tinubu appointed her as he became Nigeria’s president.
She succeeded former Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq, who is under EFCC investigation.