President Bola Tinubu today took swift action by suspending the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Dr. Betta Edu, following public outrage over an alleged N585 million scandal.
The suspension was announced by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement provided to the press. Ngelale emphasized the President’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in managing the nation’s resources.
President Tinubu had directed a thorough investigation into the purported N585 million scandal within the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management on the preceding Sunday. He expressed determination to decisively punish individuals found responsible for any breaches or infractions uncovered during the investigations.
Various groups, including the Peoples Democratic Party, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Femi Falana, SAN, the Yoruba Youth Assembly, and other civil society organizations, had called for an unbiased probe into a leaked memo allegedly authored by Minister Betta Edu. The memo instructed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585 million to the private bank account of a project accountant in the ministry, Bridget Oniyelu.
Despite facing accusations, Minister Edu defended the payment, asserting that it was intended for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states. She dismissed the allegations against her as unfounded. The Media Assistant to the Minister, Rasheed Olarenwaju, released a statement contending that such payments into private accounts of staff members, particularly project accountants, were legally permissible within the civil service.
Further details on the unfolding situation are expected to be provided in subsequent updates.