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N585m: Investigate MDAs’ Accounts, Accountants, HEDA Urges Tinubu

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has charged President Bola Tinubu to extend his bold move to review and investigate Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and their account persons.

It stated that this will underscore the importance of his commitment towards combating corruption.

In a statement on Sunday, HEDA Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju expressed surprise at the perceived audacity of suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Dr Betta Edu, to have ordered the payment of public funds into the private account of a public servant.

He added that it was also surprising the alleged consent of the officer to this alleged conspiracy and breach of financial regulations of the country.

He aligned with President Tinubu on the decisive action in suspending all Social Investment Programmes administered by the National Social Investment Programme Agency.

He said the decision was a supportive measure for the existing investigations into alleged malfeasance within ministries, departments and agencies across the country.

Recall that the National Social Investment Programme Agency has been under scrutiny since the suspension of its Chief Executive Officer, Halima Shehu.

The focus of the investigation is the reported laundering of N37.1 billion within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, under the former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq.

Suraju adds, “President Tinubu’s suspension of Farouq’s successor, Betta Edu, who is now being questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, adds another layer to the ongoing probe.”

Edu is alleged to have directed the transfer of N585 million to a private account owned by Oniyelu Bridget, identified as the Project Accountant for Grants for Vulnerable Groups.

“As a Civil Society organization, HEDA Resource Centre calls upon the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to beam its searchlight on Permanent Secretaries and Project Accountants and investigate their culpability and involvement in the mismanagement and diversion of public funds.

“Nigerians need to be informed about the allegation that the Edu-led ministry awarded a consultancy contract worth N438 million to New Plant Projects Limited, a company linked to the Interior Minister, for the National Social Registered,” Suraju said.

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