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N585m scandal: Apologise for betraying Tinubu govt, quit – Falana knocks Betta Edu

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Popular rights activist Femi Falana has challenged the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, to apologise and quit for betraying the Federal Government and Nigerians.

Falana said Edu’s response to the N585 million scandal was an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians.

Leaked documents had exposed Edu of directing the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to pay the sum of N585.18 million into a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget.

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The ministry claimed Bridget currently serves as the Project Accountant, Grants for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states.

But the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, rejected Edu’s directive and refused to pay the said sum of N585.18 million to the agent of the minister.

Responding, the minister claimed that the directive followed due process, adding that it was a move to tarnish her image.

However, Falana described Edu’s response to the allegation as arrogant.

A statement by Falana reads partly: “It is public knowledge that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betty Edu, recently directed the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to pay a whopping sum of N585.18 million to a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget, who the ministry claimed currently serves as the Project Accountant, Grants for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states.

“Happily, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, rightly rejected the illegal directive and refused to pay the said sum of N585.18 million to the agent of the minister.

“It is interesting to note that the minister has not denied that she gave approval for the payment of the over half a billion Naira to a private account in contravention of the extant Public Service Rules as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Act and the Penal Code applicable in the Federal Capital Territory.

“Instead of apologising to the federal government and people of Nigeria and calling it quits for betraying the confidence reposed in her, the minister has arrogantly said the N585.18 million fraud allegation is a mere fabrication by her detractors and an alleged attempt by mischief makers to undermine her ministry’s effort in fighting corruption and uplifting the needy.

“However, notwithstanding that the Accountant-General of the Federation has successfully frustrated the criminal diversion of the said sum of N585.18 million from public treasury, it is crystal clear from the leaked memorandum of the minister that the offence of an attempt to commit a felony has already been completed.

“There can be no legal justification for the criminal diversion of the said sum of N585.18 million for disbursement to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states since the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs has collated the individual bank accounts of all the vulnerable people.”

N585m scandal: Apologise for betraying Tinubu govt, quit – Falana knocks Betta Edu

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