NSIPA Fraud: Memo showing Minister Betta Edu paid N585m into private account surfaces

The fact that money meant for distribution to impoverished residents in four states in the South-West and South-South geographical regions of the country was placed into a single individual account has raised red flags as to the true intention of the minister...

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NSIPA Fraud: Memo showing Minister Betta Edu paid N585m into private account surfaces
Betta Edu – Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation,

Following the suspension Halima Shehu, the embattled National Coordinator of National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), over an alleged NSIPA fraud, after which she was arrested and interrogated by EFCC for allegedly moving about N44 billion into private accounts, she has since defended her actions and insisted that she moved the monies out of NSIPA accounts to stop the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, from looting the money.

Halima Shehu, Suspended NSIPA CEO

The former NSIPA CEO allegedly moved the N30 billion to prevent Edu’s embezzlement, accusing Edu of misappropriating 3 billion in a month.

Betta Edu had however come up with a strong rebuttal of the accusation immediately saying that she had at no time asked for money to be paid into private accounts.

In a dramatic twist a leaked document now trending on social media however seems to have out countered the Minister’s assertion as it is a memo where the Minister gave instructions for N585 million meant for four states to be paid into a single individual’s account.

In the memo dated December 20, Betta Edu wrote the office of the accountant-general, demanding that N585 million earmarked to reduce poverty of vulnerable citizens in Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Lagos, and Ogun states be paid into the UBA account — 2003682151— of one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

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It reads: “I hereby approve the payment of the cumulative sum of N585,189,500. These are payments for programmes and activities of the Renewed Hope grant for Vulnerable Groups.  Name: Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, bank: UBA, acct no: 2003682151,” Ms Edu wrote in a letter to Ms Madein on December 20.

“This payment should be made from the National Social Investment Office account with account number l; 0020208461037 to the project accountant’s details listed above,” she added.

The fact that money meant for distribution to impoverished residents in four states in the South-West and South-South geographical regions of the country was placed into a single individual account has raised red flags as to the true intention of the minister was another channel to loot government funds.

Lagos state was marked to get the lion’s share of N219,462,250 and Akwa-Ibom the second largest share with N219,429,750, Cross River with N73,828,750, and Ogun with N72,468,750.”

The leaked Memo:

Earlier response before the viral memo was released

The Minster for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, had reacted to an alleged diversion of N3 billion from the account of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) which is under her ministry, describing it as spurious.

The Minister, in a statement titled; ‘Re-Betta Edu Fingered In N3bn NSIPA Fraud Scandal; A Tissue of Lies, Spurious Allegation To Divert Anti-Graft Agency’s Attention’ and signed by Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, her Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, stated that the allegation was sponsored by fifth columnists with sole aim of dragging her hard-earned reputation and integrity into the ongoing investigation of NSIPA scandal by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

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The statement reads in full; “The attention of the Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu has been drawn to spurious allegations suspected to have been sponsored by  some fifth columnists aimed at dragging the hard-earned reputation and integrity of the Honourable Minister into the ongoing investigations of  NSIPA scandal by the anti- graft agency.

“Ordinarily, there is no substance in the said publication currently in some online media and does not deserve a response, but there is need to set the record straight for Nigerians and followers of the current development in NSIPA under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to be properly informed. This is necessary because the social media, in recent times, has been riddled with lots of fake and unsubstantiated news. The desire to drag traffics, also make desperate living by many bloggers has spurred several online content makers to throw caution into the wind; and rev in propaganda aimed at attacking government appointees.

“There was no time the Minister, Dr. Betta Edu requested for any fund, needless to mention withdrawal of such amount of money to the tune of N3billion since her (Dr. Betta) assumption of office as the Minister from National Social Investment Programme Agency’s (NSIPA) coffer in the last four months, albeit one month was quoted in the sponsored ‘Fake News’.

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“The Verification of the National Social Register (NSR) as quoted in the said publication online, was approved not only by Mr. President, but also by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in line with the Renewed Hope Mandate to expand the NSR as well as imbue it with integrity.

The unfolding drama surrounding the NSIPA fraud is still confiunding Nigerians as there are too many quastions begging for answers.