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Betta Edu Should Resign For ‘Betraying Nigerians’ Confidence’ — Falana

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, says the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, should resign for “betraying the confidence reposed in her”.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in a statement on Sunday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to speed up the ongoing investigation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and charged all indicted persons to court.

The senior lawyer described as an “extremely embarrassing drama”, the circumstances surrounding Edu’s alleged involvement in the approval of N585,198,500.00 to be disbursed into a personal account.

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In a letter allegedly signed by the minister, Edu allegedly instructed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the sum to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as grant for vulnerable groups in four states.

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However, Madein explained that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, her office did not act on it.

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The minister subsequently said there were plans to tarnish her image, adding that she won’t embezzle government funds.

However, Falana said the minister should stop insulting Nigerians, adding that she failed to deny that she gave approval for the funds to be paid to a private account instead of direct transfer to the beneficiaries’ accounts from the ministry’s.

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He said, “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.

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“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 that 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.

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“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.

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“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.”

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