President Bola Tinubu has supended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect.
A statement released by presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelali, says the President further directs the Executive 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.
‘’The suspended Minister is hereby 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.
Furthermore, the President has tasked a panel that is headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other functions, conduct a comprehensive diagnostic on the financial architecture and framework of the social investment programmes with a view to conclusively reforming the relevant institutions and programmes in a determined bid to eliminate all institutional frailties for the exclusive benefit of disadvantaged households and win back lost public confidence in the initiative.”
The Minister has been accused of granting approval for the disbursement of N585,198,500.00 into a personal account.
In a letter allegedly signed by the humanitarian minister, Betta is alleged to have instructed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the sum to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as grant for vulnerable groups in four states. However, Madein explained that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, her office did not act on it.
Edu, 37, the youngest minister in the President’s cabinet, subsequently said there were plans to tarnish her image and stressed that she will never be involved in the embezzlement of public funds.