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No clearance yet for Betta Edu  as EFCC probe on humanitarian ministry fraud continues

The EFCC says it has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the humanitarian ministry fraud.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta-Edu. [Daily Trust]

The agency’s spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, made this clarification on Sunday, April 14, 2024, while addressing journalists in Abuja.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu suspended Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development, and Halima Shehu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Social Investment Programme Authority (NSIPA) following allegations of financial misappropriation in the ministry.

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The president also ordered the EFCC to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving Edu’s ministry and the agencies under the ministry.

Providing updates on the matter in its monthly e-magazine titled EFCC Alert, the chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ola Olukoyede said over ₦30bn have been recovered while 50 banks are under investigation.

While providing more updates on the issue on Sunday, Oyewale said the recovered monies were part of the fraudulent dealings involving funds stolen by former Head of State, Late General Sani Abacha, COVID-19 funds, and the World Bank loan that were released to the ministry.

He said, “The EFCC has noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of ₦32.7billion and $445,000 so far.

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“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.”

He explained that the fund was released to the ministry to execute its poverty alleviation programmes.

The EFCC spokesperson further clarified that the officials of the ministry, including Edu, who were invited for interrogations have not been cleared by the agency.

“The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.

“Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary,” Oyewole explained.

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Meanwhile, the Federal Government is set to restart the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) scheme it suspended in January.

The social investment programmes were suspended following the scandal that rocked the humanitarian ministry, leading to Edu’s suspension.

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