The Guardian

Tinubu, Edu, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, N37b, investigation order over N535 million funds



Falana, PDP and rights groups call for vigilance and swift investigation

President Bola Tinubu has directed a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to ascertain the accuracy and validity of the report.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris disclosed this in a personally signed statement on Sunday. The Minister acknowledged concerns raised by the public regarding the Ministry's alleged payment of funds into private accounts.

The minister said the federal government, under President Tinubu's leadership, was transparent and accountable to the people. He stressed that government is committed to ensuring that public funds are allocated and utilized effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of Nigerians.

“In light of recent events, the President has directed that a thorough and comprehensive investigation be conducted to ascertain the accuracy and validity of the details reported. The Government is determined to uncover the truth regarding this matter. and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that any violations or violations are identified and firmly punished, consistent with the Government's commitment to public accountability and due process.

“Against the backdrop of various unconfirmed stories circulating on the internet, the public has decided that the Ministry of Intelligence and National Orientation, under the leadership of Minister Muhammad Idris, is the main source of verified information on national events and actions. It is advised to note that the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Only accurate details will be shared with the public. The Ministry is committed to providing timely updates to keep Nigerians informed of the progress of the investigation.”

Already, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has called on the EFCC to speed up the investigation into the alleged N585.18 million fraud. He also called for the recovery of N37 billion votes for vulnerable people in the country.

Reacting to this, Mr Falana yesterday said: “Since the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the said amount of N585.18 million has been disbursed to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states. There is no legal justification for the criminal misappropriation of this information.” We have reconciled the individual bank accounts of all vulnerable people. ”

The Minister noted that the Minister did not deny that he had authorized payments of over N500 million into his personal account in violation of the prevailing Civil Service Regulations, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Act, and the Penal Code. Applies to the Federal Capital Territory.

The activist added: “Instead of apologizing to the Federal Government and Nigerians for betraying the trust placed in Nigeria and calling for a desist, the Minister said that the alleged fraud of N585.18 million was simply a fabrication by her detractors. He arrogantly attributed the attack to Nigerian rebels. It was an attempt by mischief makers to undermine the ministry's efforts to fight corruption and uplift the poor.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demanded the immediate removal and prosecution of the embattled minister. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, conveyed the party’s position yesterday in Abuja.

The recent corruption allegations at the ministry are “just the tip of the iceberg in the unprecedented looting of the Treasury, unrestrained theft and plundering of resources going on in the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by President Bola Ahmad Tinubu.” he said. ) regime virtually collapsed the country's economy. ”

Mr. Ologunagba further said that “a minister entrusted with public funds to assist millions of poor Nigerians brought into poverty by the APC, in one turn, turned around the number of funds slated for the welfare of the poor.” Isn’t it tragic and heartbreaking that a billion naira was misappropriated?” he added.

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Center has called on the Federal Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq.

The request came after she did not accept an invitation from an anti-graft agency. She had been invited to be questioned on suspicion of fraud of 37.1 billion Norwegians. In a statement by HEDA Chairman Olanrewaju Suraj, the organization stressed the need for a comprehensive investigation, adding that those found to be open to investigation should be prosecuted.

Noting that President Bola Tinubu called for a thorough investigation into allegations of financial misconduct within the National Social Investment Programs Authority (NSIPA), HEDA considered the importance of using all means in the pursuit of justice.

Suraj recalled that his organization raised concerns about corruption during the previous government, but they were not addressed. He said: “Similarly, under the Freedom of Information Act, we requested a breakdown of the NOK 535.8 million spent on providing school meals to school children during the COVID-19 lockdown, but Minister Farouk at the time , refused to respond to the information requested.The court was asked to seek a mandamus order compelling the Minister to immediately publish all requested information and documents and make them available to the court.

“Furthermore, independent investigations and available information show that the so-called school feeding program, which was revised and implemented during the lockdown, is a fraud, a cover-up and clearly articulated hoax to embezzle public funds. Something has become clear.”

Also, the Socio-Economic Rights and Responsibilities Project (SERAP), by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Beta Edu, will provide N585.2 million for disbursements to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun. is calling for an investigation into the alleged payments. Move to private account.

The organization urges the President to call on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate whether the funds were paid into personal accounts and to identify and publish the names of the recipients. I requested them to instruct me to do so.

The group said anyone suspected of being involved in improper payments or misappropriation of public funds should be brought to justice, and the funds should be returned to the national treasury and paid directly to their rightful beneficiaries.

SERAP, in a letter signed over the weekend by its Deputy Director-General, Kolawole Oluwadare, said disbursing public funds into private accounts could give the impression of concealment.

The group says investigating allegations and ensuring that public funds are provided in the public's interest will create confidence in governance.
Additionally, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in Osun State, Mr. Olatunbosun Oyintiloe, appealed to President Tinubu to closely monitor the disbursement of funds earmarked for various poverty alleviation programs in the country.

Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo yesterday, he said the president's passion for alleviating poverty among the masses must not be allowed to be undermined by selfish individuals.

The politician said necessary strategies must be put in place to ensure that the various poverty intervention programs by the current administration have a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged Nigerians.

“We have a president who is overseeing everything that goes on within the government, and that is why we have absolute confidence in him. We must encourage and support the careful monitoring of these intervention programs to ensure that they are safe and effective,” Ointiloe added.

Source: guardian.ng

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