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N585m scandal: Four things to know about allegation against Tinubu’s Minister Betta Edu

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Over the past 48 hours, the media has been filled with reports surrounding an alleged scandal involving the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, and a sum of N585 million.

The predicament for Edu began with the emergence of a leaked memo dated December 20, 2023, addressed to the Accountant General of the Federation. The memo requested the disbursement of N585 million, allocated for Grants for Vulnerable Groups, into a personal account.

Here are four key points that Nigerians should be aware of regarding the scandal:

  1. Edu’s Confirmation of Payment to a Private Account: Minister Betta Edu acknowledged authorizing the payment of N585 million into a private account owned by Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola. In her defense, Edu asserted that the payment adhered to due process. She claimed to currently serve as the Project Accountant for Grants for Vulnerable Groups. However, this action contradicts Chapter 7, Section 713 of the Federal Government’s Financial Regulations 2009, which prohibits the deposit of personal money into a government bank account or the transfer of public money into a private account.
  2. AGF’s Disapproval of Edu’s Payment: The Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatosin Madein, disapproved of Edu’s payment of N585 million into a personal account. In a statement on Saturday, Madein clarified that her office did not approve the payment request made by Edu. She highlighted that the Minister’s actions violated financial regulations.
  3. Tinubu’s Order for Probe and Investigation: President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Sunday, ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations and pledged to mete out punishment to those found guilty.
  4. Calls for Edu’s Resignation and Legal Actions: The scandal has prompted nationwide outrage, with various individuals and groups calling for Edu’s resignation and prosecution. SERAP threatened to sue President Bola Ahmed Tinubu if he fails to probe the alleged payment. Human rights lawyer Femi Falana urged Edu to resign, stating that there is no legal justification for the diversion of the funds. Farooq Kperogi and Deji Adeyanju have also called for Edu’s removal, with Adeyanju attributing actions like hers to past disruptions of Nigeria’s democracy by the military.

In summary, the controversy surrounding Edu’s alleged financial mismanagement has ignited widespread condemnation, leading to calls for thorough investigations, legal actions, and demands for her resignation or removal from public office.

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‘You’re responsible for Nigeria’s economic woes’— Atiku tackles Tinubu

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Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 general election, attributed Nigeria’s economic challenges to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement shared on his official social media account on Sunday, the former Vice President of Nigeria urged Tinubu to take cues from Argentina’s President Javier Milei on swiftly restoring investor confidence despite inheriting a troubled economy.

Atiku criticized Tinubu for deflecting blame onto the opposition and his predecessors, calling such actions unnecessary and shortsighted. He emphasized that market dynamics respond to concrete actions, not political rhetoric.

Drawing parallels with President Milei’s leadership in Argentina, Atiku highlighted the need for well-sequenced economic reforms. He commended Milei’s proactive approach in preparing for the post-reform challenges and ensuring the availability of mitigating measures.

Atiku contrasted Tinubu’s administration’s ad hoc and hurried reforms with Milei’s strategic sequencing. He pointed out Argentina’s lean government structure achieved through reducing ministries and privatizing state-owned enterprises, contrasting it with Nigeria’s expanding bureaucracy and excessive spending on official residences.

Atiku likened Tinubu’s administration’s approach to Nero fiddling while Rome burns, accusing him of evading substantive action and blaming the opposition for policy failures, reminiscent of characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Expressing admiration for Argentina’s reforms, Atiku suggested aligning his “Recover Nigeria Plan” with Milei’s stabilization strategy to alleviate Nigeria’s economic distress. He emphasized the need for transparent policies focused on economic revival and warned against dismissing discontent, particularly among the youth, which could manifest in protests.

The statement referred to the worsening economic conditions in Nigeria, highlighted by soaring inflation rates and high living costs, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, with headline inflation reaching 29.90% and food inflation at 35.42% in January 2024.

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BREAKING: Fire guts FCT Minister’s residence

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A fire broke out at the private residence of Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Sunday afternoon.

Situated at No. 9, Justice Roseline Ukeji Close in the affluent Asokoro district of Abuja, the property was reportedly completely destroyed by the blaze.

Despite prompt emergency response efforts, including the arrival of fire service personnel, nothing could be salvaged from the premises.

Mr. Austin Elemue, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, confirmed the incident, indicating that the cause of the fire remained unknown at the time.

Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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