By Frank Ulom
The president of Nigeria, HE Bola Tinubu has suspended one of his ministers, Dr Betta Edu of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
Edu’s suspension was contained in a statement signed by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity on Monday 8 January 2024.
According to the statement, Tinubu who appointed Edu last year was not pleased with the allegations wired on her based on his commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability.
The president also directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to investigate all aspects of financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation headed by Dr Edu.
President Tinubu further directed Edu to hand over to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The suspension is with immediate effect.
“In line with his avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect.
“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.
“These directives of the President take immediate effect,” the statement by Ngelale read in full.
President Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale speaks on Betta Edu’s suspension.
— YabaLeftOnline (@yabaleftonline) January 8, 2024
CONVERSEER learned that shortly after her suspension, the EFCC invited Dr Betta Edu for questioning over the allegations of misappropriation of funds.
According to SaharaReporters, an EFCC source confirmed the minister’s invitation, adding that the Chairman of the agency, Ola Olukoyede, had earlier recommended the suspension of the minister to the President to pave the way for proper investigation.
“We have invited the suspended Minister, Betta Edu. The invitation letter was sent to her immediately after her suspension was announced by the President. We’re expecting her at the headquarters any moment from now,” the source noted.
Recall that Edu was indicted over N585 million sent to a private from the ministry’s coffer.
In a letter spotted by CONVERSEER with reference number: FMHAPA/HQ/OHM/S.208, Dr Betta Edu directed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein to send public funds to a private account belonging to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.
The letter which was signed by Edu herself was titled: “Mandate for Payment of Grant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun States Respectively.”
According to the letter, Mojisola was identified as a project manager.
See the letter below…