Connect with us

Breaking News

Movement of Funds: EFCC Releases Betta Edu On Bail

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, on bail, after hours of grilling her in respect of the approval she gave for the payment of about N585 million of the ministry’s funds into the private account of a civil servant.

President Bola Tinubu on Monday suspended Mrs Edu from office and ordered EFCC to investigate the approval and other related scandalous revelations, following a public outrage expressed on the issue.

EFCC had immediately summoned her to appear at its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

She honoured the invitation on Tuesday morning and was held in custody till night when she was granted bail, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, confirmed to our reporter on Wednesday that Mrs Edu was released on bail on Tuesday. Mr Oyewale, however, refrained from commenting on the terms and conditions.

She was given a bail yesterday’s night. I want to tell you that the investigation still continues,” Mr Oyewale asked.

When pressed to comment on the bail conditions and some details of the outcome of the questioning sessions that took place on Tuesday, Mr Oyewale said, “I cannot speak further on the details.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the EFCC began questioning Mrs Edu Tuesday morning.

Citing a highly reliable source at the anti-graft agency, NAN reported that the suspended minister was at the commission’s headquarters on Tuesday morning.

“An official invitation by the commission was sent to her on Monday and she honoured the invitation on Tuesday.

See also  Tragedy Strikes at Beja AirShow: Pilot Killed in Mid-Air Collision

“She is being interrogated by the commission and she is expected to give proper insight into the issue at hand,’’ the source said.

The source told NAN that Mrs Edu’s predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, the pioneer minister of the ministry then christened as the Ministry of Social Development, Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, returned to the commission for questioning on Tuesday after she was released on bail on Monday.

Mrs Umar-Farouk is being investigated over a staggering N37.1 billion allegedly laundered by officials of the ministry during her tenure as minister.

The source also told NAN that Halima Shehu, the suspended National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, was still undergoing investigation at the EFCC.

Ms Shehu was responsible for overseeing the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme initiated by former President Muhammadu Buhari to give succour to vulnerable groups and individuals.

Betta Edu’s case

PREMIUM TIMES reported the scandal, including the approval of payment of hundreds of millions of naira into private accounts of civil servants.

Mrs Edu has come under criticism from Nigerians for ordering the transfer of N585.2 million into the private bank account of a civil servant, who is the accountant in charge of grants for Vulnerable Nigerians.

A few days after Mrs Edu ordered the suspension of Ms Shehu for alleged financial impropriety, documents leaked to the public showed that she ordered the payment of N585.2 million into the private bank account of a civil servant, who is the accountant in charge of Grants for Vulnerable Nigerians.

See also  Rights Group HURIWA condemns extrajudicial killings, arson by Nigerian soldiers

A leaked memo showed that the minister had in December, requested Oluwatoyin Madein, the accountant general of the federation, to transfer the money from the account of the National Social Investment Office to the private account of Bridget Oniyelu, the accountant of a federal government poverty intervention project called Grants for Vulnerable Groups, a project under Mrs Edu’s ministry.

The request contravenes various sections of Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2009 meant to prevent fraud and other forms of corruption in government business.

Speaking through her media aide, Rasheed Zubair, on Friday, Mrs Edu insisted that the act is legal in the country’s civil service. She alleged that she was being targeted for her stance against corruption.

However, Chapter Seven, Section 713 of Nigeria’s Financial Regulations 2009 states that “Personal money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government bank account, nor shall any public money be paid into a private account.”

It also added that “Any officer who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intention.”

The Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, on Saturday distanced herself from the controversy adding that her agency had advised the ministry of the proper mode of such transfers.

Announcing the suspension of Mrs Edu by Mr Tinubu in a statement on Monday, presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, said the president took the action in line with his avowed commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians.

The president also tasked a panel led by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other functions, conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of the financial architecture and framework of the social investment programmes.

See also  Police arrests council boss over alleged plot to kill Benue speaker

For Diaspora Digital Media Updates click on Whatsapp, or Telegram. For eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles, write to: citizenreports@diasporadigitalmedia.com. Follow us on X (Fomerly Twitter) or Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Updates

Malian Singer Rokia Traore Detained in Italy Amid Child Custody Dispute

Herve Renard Emerges As Top Contender For Vacant Super Eagles Coaching Job

Senegal’s Oil Discovery: A Game-Changer for the Economy?

IGP Egbetokun’s Shameful Antics: A Betrayal of Public Trust

INEC Verifies ADC Secretariat Ahead of Polls 

Kagame Faces Familiar Rivals As Rwanda’s Presidential Election Campaign Begins

Despite Huge Investments, Unviable Airports Dot Nigerian States

Terror Strikes Russia: Coordinated Attacks Leave Multiple Dead

Nigerian who failed WASSCE 17 times honoured with two doctorate in US

How 1,301 Pilgrims Died During 2024 Hajj In Saudi Arabia

Subscribe to DDM Newsletter for Latest News