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Anti-Corruption Group Calls For Suspension Of President Tinubu’s Minister, Betta Edu Over Alleged Procurement Fraud

Apublic procurement advocacy group, Network for the Actualisation of Social Growth and Viable Development (NEFGAD) has urged President Bola Tinubu to be impartial in the face of massive corruption allegations rocking the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) office.

This was contained in a statement signed by NEFGAD Head, Mr Akingunola Omoniyi, noting that President Tinubu had been provided with an opportunity to prove to Nigerians that he was willing to fight corruption. 

The group asked the President to also apply same disciplinary measure (suspension) meted to the NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu on the Minister of Humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Mrs Betta Edu. 

The statement read in part; ‘’The recent development in the Humanitarian office has provided President Tinubu a golden opportunity to tell Nigerians and the whole world that he is ready and willing to tackle corruption in a fair, just and impartial manner by also applying same disciplinary measure (suspension) meted to the NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu on the Minister for Humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Mrs Betta Edu. 
"A section of the media has reported how the Minister of Humanitarian Affiars and Poverty Alleviation through a memo dated 20th December, 2023 with reference number FMHAPA/HQ/OHM/S.208 directed the Accountant-general of the Federation to make payments of N585,189,500 into a private UBA account 2003682151 belonging to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.
"Apart from the fact that Dr Edu and Mrs Halima Shehu are from different geographical divide of the country, the tendency and pattern of the allegations involving the duo  are too identical and should not have attracted different approaches and measures in dealing with them by the president. 
‘’Directing  payment of public fund into private account by a public officer is a serious procurement and fiscal malfeasance that attracts serious penalty under extant laws, regulations and rules including the public procurement, Fiscal Responsibility, Independent Corrupt Practices  and other offences (ICPC), Code of Conduct Acts and the Anti-mobey Laundering (prevention and prohibition) Act.” 
Mr Akingunola further stated that the minister had serious questions to answer by Instructing payment of  public fund into private accounts other than that of a legal entity “who has duly participated in a competitive selection process and/or are direct beneficiaries of a  conditional grant scheme (in the case of vulnerable people as captured in the Ministry’s mandate). 
"The act depicts pure nepotism, favouritism, undue advantage conferment and criminal diversion,” he averred. 
Hence, the group implored president Bola Tinubu to direct the suspension of Dr Betta Edu for thorough investigation by relevant anti-corruption agencies with immediate effect.

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