...why Betta Edu was suspended

  1. President Bola Tinubu few days ago announced the suspension of one Halima Shehu, the CEO of National Social Investment Program (NSIPA), an agency under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Allegation, for financial misconduct.
  2. EFCC operatives subsequently arrested Halima Shehu. During interrogation, it was discovered that she moved a whopping N40bn belonging to NSIPA to personal and corporate bank accounts linked to her.
  3. Halima Shehu also informed the operatives that she moved the N40bn to private accounts linked to her because Dr Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, was transferring monies from the NSIPA account to personal accounts. She reportedly alleged that over N3billion has been moved so far by Betta, and her action was taken to block her from accessing the N40 billion.
  4. While that conversation was ongoing, a memo written by Betta Edu to the Accountant General of the Federation seeking authorisation of payment of N585 million to the personal account of Oniyelu Bridget for GVG program in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and Ogun States, surfaced.
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It was inappropriate in the public service to transfer payments for projects to personal accounts.

  1. Betta Edu issued a statement confirming the authenticity of the memo, and claiming that she obtained necessary approvals. She also claimed that the beneficiary of the money, Oniyelu Bridget, is a Project Accountant of GVG scheme.
  2. The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, issued a counter-statement disowning Betta Edu. The AGF in her statement stated that her office declined Betta Edu’s request, and further informed her of the illegality in her action.
  3. Since the AGF did not authorise the payment, under which authority did Betta act upon to transfer a whopping N585 million to the account of Oniyelu?
  4. It is against Financial Regulations for any public officer to transfer agency funds into personal accounts of individuals, not even the President.
  5. The honorable thing for Betta is to resign as minister to allow for unbiased investigation by relevant security agencies. Alternatively, her suspension or sack should be a priority if the President is serious with his anti-corruption rhetoric. After all, Halima Shehu was suspended as CEO of NSIPA.
  6. We will not allow this scandal to be swept under the carpet.
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Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has in a message on Monday signed by his Media Aide; Chief Ajuri Ngalale, suspended the embattled Humanitarian Minister.

The Statement reads: “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.

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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”