President Bola Tinubu has approved the suspension of Betta Edu as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation with immediate effect.
Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential Spokesman, stated this in a statement on Monday.
The statement said Tinubu had also directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the minister and other persons involved in the attempted diversion of N585 million into a private account.
The statement read: “In line with his avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect.
“The President further directs the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, as well as one or more agencies thereunder.
“The suspended Minister is hereby directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and she is further directed by the President to fully cooperate with the investigating authorities as they conduct their investigation.
“Furthermore, the President has tasked a panel that is headed by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to, among other functions, conduct a comprehensive diagnostic on the financial architecture and framework of the social investment programmes with a view to conclusively reforming the relevant institutions and programmes in a determined bid to eliminate all institutional frailties for the exclusive benefit of disadvantaged households and win back lost public confidence in the initiative.
“These directives of the President take immediate effect.” the spokesperson noted
A source close to Betta Edu said that the former Minister who rushed to Aso Rock immediately her suspension was announced, was prevented from seeing the President.
According to the source, she came outside to find that her entire security details and vehicles that accompanied her convoy were gone. It was gathered that the security details received signals recalling them to their respective commands following her suspension. Meanwhile, the villa access tag earlier given to Betta Edu was taken from her. One of the Principal aides of the president had to volunteer to use his vehicle for her to drive out of the villa.
But a source said she has vowed to fight back saying she can not be treated as an outsider.
Meanwhile, the contractors who were allegedly paid them several millions into their private accounts, according to an inside source, claimed to have verified 11 million homes in Nigeria under one month.
Time will tell whether this development will open another can of worms as many people live in abject poverty in Nigeria while funds belonging to the National Social Investment Programme Agency, NSIPA is being allegedly misappropriated. What is interesting however is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ordered an investigation of the misappropriation.