President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, directed the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, to investigate all financial transactions involving the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
Dr Betta Edu was the minister in charge of the ministry until the President suspended her on Monday.
Besides her suspension, Tinubu directed that the anti-graft agency to probe transactions of agencies under the ministry.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale.
It was reported that Edu came under criticism after a leaked memo on 20th of December, 2023 revealed that she directed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585m to a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget, who the ministry claimed currently serves as the Project Accountant, Grants for Vulnerable Groups.
But in the statement on Monday, Tinubu said he was committed to “uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians”.
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.”