Tinubu orders probe of Edu’s ministry over alleged fraud

President Bola Tinubu has ordered a probe of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation led by Betta Edu.

Ms Edu got into trouble after a December 20, 2023 memo she approved, requesting the payments of about N600 million into a personal account, was made public.

The youngest minister in the present administration is said to have contravened sections of the country’s financial regulations aimed at preventing frauds.

The approved funds are said to be poverty intervention funds for four states, namely, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states.

In the memo which has now been confirmed by the humanitarian minister, she 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 the four states.

However, Ms Madein explained that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, her office did not act on it because they do not make payments on behalf of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for projects and programmes implemented by MDAs.

Reacting to public outcry, most of which requested her resignation from office, the humanitarian minister said there were plans to tarnish her image because of her exposition of fraud perpetuated by her predecessor, Sadiya Farouq, who is being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly laundering over N37 billion while in office.

In a statement on Sunday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, acknowledged the uproar over the development in the humanitarian ministry under Edu, saying that the “government is determined to unravel the truth.

“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.

“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 said.