The Nigerian presidency has announced an ongoing investigation into a significant financial irregularity involving the transfer of N585.189 million.
This revelation has sparked widespread concern and calls for accountability.
In a related development, several civil society organizations have vehemently called for the dismissal of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betty Edu.
The groups accuse Edu of directing the controversial payment and are urging the president to take decisive action against such acts of impunity.
The civil society organizations emphasize the need for the presidency to not only investigate but also enforce strict consequences.
Their demands include the immediate removal of Edu from her ministerial position and her subsequent interrogation by anti-corruption agencies.
This strong stance reflects a growing impatience with governmental misconduct and a push for greater transparency and accountability in the handling of public funds.
The incident has raised serious questions about the management of funds meant for the welfare of vulnerable populations.
“Appropriate Action will be taken thereafter.”
In a viral document signed by her and directed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Edu directed the disbursement of N585.189 million into one Bridget Mojisola Oniyelu’s private account.
The leaked document revealed that the money was paid into Oniyelu’s account.
The minister had, in a statement on Friday by her Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Rasheed Zubair, said the payment followed due process.
Zubair had explained that the money was paid into Oniyelu’s account because she currently serves as the project accountant of Grants for Vulnerable Groups.
He said it is legal in the civil service for a staff member, to be paid, use the same funds legally and retire same with all receipts and evidence after the project or programme is completed.
The Executive Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) Global Resource Initiative, Buna Olaitan Isiak, urged Tinubu “to set up a panel to probe the matter so as to set precedence for future culprits.
“Payment of humongous public funds into a private account is purely corruption no matter the merit of her (Edu’s) defence. This is a violation of all the anti-corruption laws of Nigeria.
“The development is an opportunity to test the sincerity of President Tinubu on his willingness and determination to fight corruption and the readiness of his government to depart from the past ways of doing things.