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“Betta Edu Suffering For Exposing Corruption”, Says Group

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….Urges Tinubu To Reinstate Ex-Minister

From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja.

President Tinubu has been urged to reinstate the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu back into office.

The appeal was made by the Sustainable Movement of Nigeria, SNM which also claimed that Edu is being blackmailed and witch-hunt for exposing corruption in the National Social Investment Program Agency.

Founder of the organisation, Mr. Kayode Arimoro in a press statement on Monday said that Edu’s travails were orchestrated by persons who were culpable in a corruption scandal involving an unapproved transfer of 44.8bn in 2023.

According to him, the former Cross River Health Commissioner was suspended 7 days after she raised the alarm and demanded an investigation into the financial misappropriation.

Mr Kayode further alleged that regular and new social media were heavily paid to run propaganda for days, and internal persons were also planted to pressure President Tinubu to suspend Edu from office.

Highlighting the achievements recorded by Edu while in office, Kayode appealed to President Tinubu to recall the axed Minister saying she is being tormented by a large network of prospective beneficiaries of the 44.8bn billion corruption crime.

He said; “They made concerted efforts to defame a Minister whose passion and policies were focused on the grassroots and who has shown poise and action to weed out corruption and irregularities within the ministry. just to teach her a lesson never to report fraud when she sees one”.

While the President intends to suspend the Minister so that the system can be investigated, Kayode pointed out that the period concerning the suspended Minister was barely 4 months.

Kayode asserted that the reason for Edu’s suspension was inconsequential given that all the projects she achieved were legally genuine with due approvals.

He said; “The said transfer of 587 million Naira which she wrote officially to the Accountant General and payments were made from the accountant general office, Given that she followed a laid down regulation from Chapter 14 section (iii) of the Federal Government Financial regulations.

According to him, the section states clearly that “In the disbursement of funds for non-personal advance for project/special programs, the leader of the project/special programs shall be the accounting officer, while an accountant of an appropriate grade shall be attached to each project/special programs and have responsibility for the disbursements as well as retirements of the non-personal advances”.

He said; “According to these financial regulation guidelines, the so-called private account to which funds were transferred is 3 qualifying accounts, which is managed by the Project accountant and there is evidence to show that the funds reached the intended beneficiaries in different states.

Reminding President Tinubu of the efforts put in by Edu during his Presidential campaigns, Kayode stated that the sacked Minister believes strongly in his 8-point agenda targeted at reducing poverty and fighting corruption.

He said that Edu remains instrumental to the achievement of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda;

“This battle must not be lost for the sake of the reputation Dr Betta Edu has built over the years. Getting the ministry workings right would have solved Nigeria’s problems by over 70 per cent, with 133 million people living below the poverty line and an additional 10 million people thrown into poverty between January and April 2024.”

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