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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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‘Some people have turned into monitoring spirits because of Tinubu’ – Joe Igbokwe

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Joe Igbokwe, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, raised concerns on Saturday about the constant monitoring of President Bola Tinubu. Igbokwe claimed that some individuals have resorted to witchcraft and “monitoring spirits” to keep an eye on Tinubu.

He explained that these individuals are observing Tinubu closely to catch any mistakes or mishaps, wherever he goes. Posting on his Facebook page, Igbokwe predicted that this scrutiny will persist for the next eight years.

He wrote: “Some people have turned to monitoring spirits. They follow PBAT anywhere he goes to see if he will make mistakes, if he will fall down, or if he will be received very well in any country he goes to. This is witchcraft and they will do this for 8 years. Mark this.”

Tinubu had a slip during the Democracy Day celebration at Eagles Square on June 12. Addressing the incident later at a Democracy Day dinner at the Presidential Villa, the President commented: “Early this morning, I had a swagger and it’s on social media. They’re confused about whether I was doing bugger or babariga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy. Why doing dobale on the day? I’m a traditional Yoruba boy. I did my dobale.”

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‘We’re still owed salaries in Abia State University’ – ASUU

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The Abia State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has claimed that many of its members did not receive their April and May salaries, and those who were paid had deductions from their salaries. ASUU Chairperson Chidi Mbah and Secretary Victor Obisike stated that despite announcements from the Abia government and social media reports indicating that salaries had been settled, only a few staff members with accounts at commercial banks received their April salaries, and even fewer received their May salaries.

The ASUU leaders highlighted that this inconsistency in salary payments and deductions has caused financial difficulties, anxiety, and uncertainty among the affected staff. They noted that staff members who did receive their April or May salaries experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000.

This irregular payment system has made it difficult for the unions within the university to determine the status of their check-off dues, which are usually deducted at the source. Additionally, ASUU emphasized that 11 months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid, despite repeated assurances from the government.

ASUU expressed its support for Governor Alex Otti’s efforts to improve Abia State University but urged government officials to avoid politicizing the salary payment issue. They appealed to the state government to promptly address the concerns raised and ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid in full to alleviate the financial hardships faced by the university staff.

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Sanusi: Ado Bayero was never Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf’s spokesman

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Sanusi Bature, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, has asserted that Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. According to Bature, former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Bayero as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city.

During an appearance on Arise Television, Bature explained that Ganduje’s appointment of Bayero as emir was part of a political maneuver that compromised the integrity of the historic Kano Emirate, which predates Nigeria and its constitution by over a thousand years.

Bature stated: “The governor’s action was intended to protect the emirate’s integrity as an institution. The Emirate of Kano has a history that predates Nigeria, with people living under a single Emir for over a thousand years. Ganduje’s administration politicized this history, which Yusuf promised to rectify during his campaign to restore the emirate’s lost glory.”

He further remarked, “This is not the first time an Emir has been deposed; Ganduje did it, and Sanusi left Kano for peace to prevail. Now Sanusi has returned to Kano after the law was repealed.”

Clarifying Bayero’s status, Bature said, “Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. He was appointed as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city. With the revision of the law under a unified Kano, the emirate Bayero served no longer exists. He was the Emir of the Kano city emirate, not the entire 44 local governments of Kano, a status created by Ganduje’s 2019 Emirate law.”

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Governor Yusuf deposed Ado Bayero and reinstated Muhammed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Despite this, Ado Bayero has refused to leave his Nassarawa palace and has challenged the state government’s action in court.

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