President Bola Tinubu has suspended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu with immediate effect.
A statement by presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said this was in line Tinubu’s avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians.
Ngelale said that the President directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 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.
He said the suspended Minister was also directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
The suspended Minister was 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.
This is 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.
In a statement on Monday afternoon, presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said his principal ordered the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, “to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions” involving the ministry and “one or more agencies thereunder”.
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 instructed the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the sum to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as grants for vulnerable groups in four states.