N585m scandal: Suspended Minister denied access to see President Tinubu - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, January 8, 2024

N585m scandal: Suspended Minister denied access to see President Tinubu

Indication emerged on Monday that the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu was not allowed to see President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja 

This is as a Civil Society Organisation, Community Advancement and Humanitarian Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria, CSCHEI, has commended President Tinubu for his swift action in suspending the Minister and ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to thoroughly investigate the matter 

President Tinubu had ordered the suspension of the minister following controversies about financial transactions she authorised in her ministry.

She was accused of financial infractions bordering on approval of payment of about N585 million into private accounts of civil servants, who is said to be the accountant in charge of grants for Vulnerable Nigerians.

The Minister had arrived the presidential villa, Abuja shortly after her suspension was announced perhaps with the intention of having a physical discussion with the president. 

While she was able to clear all security checks up to the president’s office, she was however blocked from seeing him in his office. 

It was also learnt that apart from being unable to have an audience with President Tinubu, her access tag to the villa was immediately withdrawn from her by the president’s security. 

Besides that, she was also ferried out of the president’s office in a Toyota Hilux truck belonging to State House security.  

It was not immediately clear whether she was later allowed to use her official vehicle out of the presidential villa premises. 

Meanwhile, reacting to the suspension of the minister, the Director General of CSCHEI, Kunle Yusuff, said CSOs in Nigeria will not accept any administrative rascality and  abuse of power by any appointees of the President.  

According to him, "Many Non- Governmental Organizations and Community Based Organisations have been working vigorously developing various working concepts to align with Mr. President Renewed Hope Agenda. 

"This is one of the reasons CSCHEI has set up a working template to evaluate and monitor 2024 budgets as approved by the President. Suspending the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviations is a strong warning to all government officials. 

"CSCHEI will definitely work with relevant agencies to make sure that investigations into the allegation that led to her suspension are logically concluded. It's not only embarrassing but ridiculous hearing such financial administrative infractions 

"Seriously speaking, we have seen a President travelling around the globe marketing Nigeria Investment programmes. Hopefully, this may further increase Nigeria investment indexes. This is not the time for any government officials to be indulged in financial misconduct that may negate the integrity of this administration."

Yussuf said CSCHEI has already concluded plans to roll out training for NGOs and CBOs on "Intelligence gathering, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, reporting system, government policy’s initiatives, radicalisation and extremism. 

"These are the means to strengthening the Civil Society Organisation in Nigeria to be proactive, strategic, and tactical in daily responsibilities."

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