Betta Edu: SERAP Urges Tinubu to Probe N585.2m Disbursement

January 7, 2024
betta edu

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to sue President Bola Tinubu if he fails to probe the alleged payment of N585,189,500.00 into a private account by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Betta Edu.

This was disclosed by Mr  Kolawole Oluwadare, the Deputy Director of SERAP, in a statement on Sunday.

“According to our information, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, in a memo dated December 20, 2023, reportedly requested the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer public fund – N585.2 million – into a private account of an official in her ministry.

“According to the memo, the money was transferred from the National Social Investment Program office account and is meant for disbursement to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun states, under the federal government poverty intervention project called Grants for Vulnerable Groups. N219.4 million is to be transferred to the vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom State, N73.8 million to Cross River State, N219.4 million to Lagos State, and N72.4 million to Ogun State.

“SERAP is seriously concerned that years of allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of public funds meant to support and assist vulnerable Nigerians and entrenched impunity of perpetrators have undermined the ability of successive governments to support those most in need,” the group said.

The Minister reportedly confirmed disbursing N585,189,500.00 meant for vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Ogun states into a private account but she insisted that the payment followed due process.

SERAP said her action was against Chapter 7, Section 713 of the Federal Government’s Financial Regulations 2009, which emphasised that, ‘Personal money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government bank account, nor shall any public money be paid into a private account’.

Accordingly, SERAP urged President Tinubu to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly and thoroughly conduct a probe.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest,” it noted.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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