President Bola Tinubu took decisive action on Monday, suspending the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Dr. Betta Edu, amid public outcry over an alleged N585 million scandal. The announcement was made by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who emphasized Tinubu’s commitment to upholding integrity, transparency, and accountability.
The move came after Tinubu, on Sunday, ordered a thorough investigation into the purported N585 million scandal within the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. The President pledged to mete out decisive punishment to individuals found culpable of any breaches or infractions uncovered during the probe.
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, demanded an unbiased investigation into a leaked memo allegedly written by Minister Betta Edu. The memo reportedly instructed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585 million into the private bank account of a project accountant, Bridget Oniyelu.
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 as baseless and argued that making such payments into private accounts, particularly those of project accountants, was legal within the civil service.