Tinubu orders investigation of Betta Edu, vows to punish infractions

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed a thorough investigation into the indictment of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, in the transfer of N585.189 million grant meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states into a private account.

The president also promised to ensure that any breaches and infractions identified in the course of investigation are decisively punished.

A viral document signed by Edu and directed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation revealed that the minister directed the disbursement of N585.189 million into one Bridget Mojisola Oniyelu’s private account.

The leaked document revealed that the money was paid into Oniyelu’s account.

But Edu’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Rasheed Zubair, had in a statement on Friday said the payment followed due process.

Also, the minister in a statement she posted on her Facebook page on Saturday said the allegation was baseless, but was silent on the transfer of the funds into a private account.

However, civil society organisations and activists called for her sacking just as the the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, told Daily Trust on Saturday that “the matter is under investigation.”

In a statement on Sunday, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the government was aware of concerns raised by the public on the alleged fraud.

He said President Tinubu had directed that a comprehensive investigation be carried out into the matter and appropriate punishment meted out.

“The Ministry of Information and National Orientation acknowledges the concerns raised by the public regarding the alleged payment of funds into a private account by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. We are aware of the narratives circulating widely and wish to assure Nigerians that the Government takes these issues most seriously.

“The Federal Government, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is transparent and accountable to the people, and committed to ensuring that public funds are allocated and utilized effectively and efficiently to address the needs of Nigerians.

“In light of recent events, the President has directed that a thorough and comprehensive investigation be conducted to ascertain the accuracy and validity of the reported details.

The government is determined to unravel the truth as it relates to this matter, and assures that appropriate action will be taken to ensure that any breaches and infractions are identified and decisively punished, in line with the Administration’s commitment to public accountability and due process,” the statement read in part.

The minister advised the public to shun unverified narratives as regards the matter and rely on the information from the ministry.

“Only accurate details will be shared with the public. The Ministry is committed to providing timely updates to keep Nigerians informed about the progress of the investigation.

“We urge Nigerians to exercise patience as the investigation unfolds. The government is focused on ensuring a fair and unbiased process, and the findings will be communicated duly and transparently to the public,” he added.


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