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ALLEGED N585M FRAUD: Betta Edu to Face EFCC Grills Today

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Suspended Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Minister, Dr. Betta Edu will today be grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N585 million fraud in her ministry.

Edu, who was suspended yesterday by President Bola Tinubu, is being accused of paying the Humanitarian Fund into a private account.

The N585 million was meant for payment of grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Cross River and Ogun states.

Following her suspension, Edu was blocked from seeing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who had directed the anti-graft agency to thoroughly investigate the financial activities of the ministry and some of its agencies.

A source said that her access tag was withdrawn by a security agent at the State House, Abuja.

The President also directed a panel, headed by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, to investigate the financial structure and operations of the social investment programmes, to restructure relevant institutions and programmes.

The President’s directives on the probe were contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, in Abuja.

Edu, who was directed to hand over the affairs of the ministry to the Permanent Secretary, was also advised to cooperate fully with the investigating bodies

The statement reads: “In line with his avowed commitment to upholding 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.”

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