Tinubu orders probe of Edu, vows to take action

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From Left: Edu and Tinubu.

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By KEMI KASUMU

After crimicisms for trying to shield his Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, from unfolding corruption, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ordered a thorough probe of her Ministry.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known in a statement dated January 7, 2024 and copied to The DEFENDER on Sunday.

Controversy had enveloped Edu’s alleged involvement in the approval of N585,198,500.00 to be disbursed into a personal account.

In a letter allegedly signed by the humanitarian minister, she allegedly 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 four states.

However, Madein explained that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, her office did not act on it.

Edu, 37 and the youngest minister in the President’s cabinet, subsequently said there were plans to tarnish her image, adding that she won’t embezzle government funds.

Incidentally, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is presently probing Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Farouq, over alleged laundering of N37.1 billion during her tenure as a minister under the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the Sunday’s statement personally signed by the Information and National Orientation Minister, the uproar over the development in the humanitarian ministry under Edu was acknowledged as he said the “government is determined to unravel the truth”.

Idris, who explained issuing the statement to address the widespread information circulating regarding the use of public funds by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, acknowledged the concerns raised by the public regarding the alleged payment of funds into a private account by the Betta Edu-led ministry.
“We are aware of the narratives circulating widely and wish to assure Nigerians that the Government takes these issues most seriously,” the minister said.

According to him, 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 public is advised to note, against the backdrop of various unverified narratives circulating on the Internet, that the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, under the leadership of Minister Mohammed Idris, is the primary  source for verified information about events and actions of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“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 said.


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