By Sanni Abdullahi

If the pressure on the President similar to that which culminated in the sack yesterday of the erstwhile Humanitarian Minister; Mrs. Betta Edu is to be relied upon, then another Minister in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet is on his way out.

President Tinubu is under intense pressure to relieve the Minister for Interior; Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo of his appointment for his alleged culpability in the Betta Edu saga. The Minister is being accused allegedly of receiving from the sacked Humanitarian Minister lush money running into hundreds of millions via a company “…wholly owned and operated…” by him.

In a Press Statement by the Northern Youth Council signed by its President; Wahab Adamu, the group accused the “greedy” duo of Betta and Tunji-Ojo of frustrating President Tinubu’s efforts at alleviating the sufferings of the less-privileged Nigerians.

The group in its statement faulted the minister’s link to the alleged corruption that led to the suspension of Betta Edu as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs.

“The group premised their call for his sack after it was revealed that a N438.1million from Beta Edu’s fake N3billion social register scam was sent to New Planet Project Limited company, wholly owned and operated by the Minister for Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, with registration number 804833, registered on March 3, 2009.

READ:  Breach Of Akwa Ibom State Map Establishment Law Is Criminal, Unacceptable -LGAs Coalitionarn

Tunji-Ojo’s New Planet Project Limited was initially paid N279 million for verification of the list and another N159 million for the same purpose”

Report revealed that the firm allegedly has the Interior Minister and his wife, Abimbola as directors.

The action is however against the Nigerian Constitution and Code of Conduct law.

The Northern Youth’s statement further added “The Code of Conduct law, in sections 5 and 6, bars public officers from putting themselves in positions of conflict of interest and prevents them from partaking in any business other than farming.

The group’s statement on Monday, said, Betta as well as Tunji-Ojo are greedy individuals frustrating Tinubu’s capacity to alleviate the sufferings of the less privileged.

It also said that it took the bold move to lend its voice in crying out to state its position over “the ignoble crass corruption and embezzlement that was carefully designed and masterminded by Betta Edu and Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.”

However, a source revealed that the Interior Minister may have gotten the contract through his former aide and coordinator of the National Programme Manager, Grant For Vulnerable Groups, Thalis Apalowo.

READ:  Ngomari Airport: It’s time to reopen closed highway, Zulum says over accidents caused by closure

Apalowo served as Legislative Aide to Tunji-Ojo while he was representing Akoko North Federal constituency at the National Assembly.

“He was the one who lobbied for his appointment as coordinator of programme under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, he is his close aide,” 

Apalowo was one of the minister’s advanced team who received N2,515,000 for DTA for five nights, local running @30% of DTA, for flight tickets and airport taxis to Kogi — a state with no airport.

The statement continued “After the suspension of Betta Edu on Monday, for requesting payment be made into a private account for some projects while also approving payments for flight tickets for herself and some staff of the ministry to travel to Kogi State which has no airport, it is reasonable to also suspend Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo in order to completely wash out corrupt eggs from the yet-to-be-matured system.

“For an administration that has taken a bold step to letting go of corrupt Betta Edu,  identifying with a man of questionable character like Tunji-Ojo is a direct mockery of the expectations of Nigerians and as believers of President Tinubu’s vision”, the groups said, adding that ” We cannot fold our hands and watch this ignoble development continue to fester. Lastly, we thank Mr President swift action on suspension of Halima Shehu and Beta Edu”

READ:  COVID-19: Edo govt tests 5771 residents, decontaminates 797 homes, extends case search to 911 communities

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has dismissed two Executive Officers from his government. In a statement by the the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; Chief Ajuri Ngelale yesterday, the President noted the action was in line with his administration’s plans to restructure and reposition critical agencies of the federal government.

The statement read “In conformity with plans to restructure and reposition critical agencies of the Federal Government towards protecting the rights of Nigerian consumers and providing a strong basis for enhanced contributions to the nation’s economy by key growth-enabling institutions, President Bola Tinubu has dismissed the following Chief Executive Officers:

(1) Mr. Babatunde Irukera —EVC/CEO, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) 

(2) Mr. Alexander Ayoola Okoh— Director-General/CEO, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)

“The two dismissed Chief Executives are directed to hand over to the next most senior officer in their respective agencies, pending the appointment of new Chief Executive Officers. By this directive of the President, their removal from office takes immediate effect”.