By Ere-ebi Agedah Imisi
President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has approved the suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect over fraud allegations.
The President also directed the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC 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.
Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, announced the minister’s suspension in a statement on Monday afternoon.
Controversy had enveloped Edu’s alleged involvement in the approval of N585,198,500.00 to be disbursed into a personal account.
In a letter allegedly signed by the humanitarian minister, she instructed the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the sum to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as grants for vulnerable groups in four states.
However, Madein confirmed that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, but her office did not act on it.
Incidentally, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is presently probing Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Farouq, over alleged laundering of N37.1 billion during her tenure as a minister under the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.
The suspended Minister is therefore 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.
However as at the time of filing this report, there is still no statement from the suspended minister or the ministry.