Presidency Calls for Patience In View of Edu’s Investigation

The Presidency on Monday urged patience and restraint from Nigerians in view of the continuing investigation into the alleged embezzlement of N585 million by the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Dr. Betta Edu.

 The Presidency also cautioned against a media trial.

Responding to new developments in the case, President Bola Tinubu authorized the release of N3 billion to validate the National Social Register during the former Muhammadu Buhari administration, according to Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Special Advisor to the President on Information and Strategy.

Under former President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration, the social register was created for cash transfers and other social investment programmes. 

In a memo from the Office of Chief of the Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, dated December 18, 2023, and titled ‘Conveyance of approval; Re: appeal to use N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) from the Covid-19 palliative fund for verification of the national social register,’ read:

“The above subject refers. Please be informed that Mr President has approved the expenditure of N3,000,000,000.00 (three billion naira) only, from the Covid-19 Palliative Fund for verification of the National Social Register. Please accept the assurance of my highest regards.

However, while speaking to The PUNCH on Monday night, Onanuga said “The President has directed the EFCC to investigate the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and all these matters are under investigation already.

“I am sure that the EFCC had seen that memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff and they are doing something about these findings.

“Let us allow them to do their work. Let us not do a double investigation on the same issue or a media trial on an issue that is under investigation. Nigerians should exercise patience.

“When the EFCC is done with their findings, they will tender their report to the President who will then act on the result of the investigation.”

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation under Betta Edu paid a company owned by Interior Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo a total of N438.1 million for consulting services under the contract, according to an online website.

According to reports, New Planet Project Limited was one of the consultants that received contracts from the N3 billion that the suspended minister distributed for the national social register contract.

Other beneficiaries according to the report include Fabunmi Olanipekun & Co, which got N419.5m, Vintsolve Global Consult was also paid N558.8m, Periscope Consulting got N277m, Blue Trend Enterprise was reportedly paid N277.8m, Laitop Dynamics Interlink Services got N277m, Memak Nigeria Limited was paid N277m, MC Van Management Consult Limited got N275.8m, Danzinger Nigeria Limited got  N275.8m , while Blue Trend Enterprises received N277.8m.

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