In 2022, ₦10 billion of public funds found its way into private accounts, as revealed by data obtained by BusinessDay.
This significant sum was disbursed among 18 beneficiaries through a total of 165 transactions.
Among the recipients, Ebikabowei Victor Ben stood out by receiving one of the largest amounts, totaling ₦2.20 billion spread across 27 transactions. The funds, approved by the internal auditor in September 2022, were designated for stipend payments to 1214 ex-agitators in Boyloaf Camp.
Another substantial recipient, Dasiamaka Adokiye Sami, obtained ₦2.20 billion through 12 transactions for stipend payments to ex-agitators in the Tom Ateke camp.
On the lower end of the scale, Alagbada Christiana Omolade received the least amount, ₦118.17 million, distributed over 18 transactions.
The revelation of this data gained prominence following the suspension of Betta Edu from her position as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
President Bola Tinubu took this action after a leaked memo surfaced, exposing Edu’s directive to transfer N585 million to a private account. This revelation sparked widespread concerns and raised questions about potential financial improprieties within the ministry.
Nigeria’s law unequivocally prohibits transferring public funds to private accounts.
As articulated in the Federal Government’s Financial Regulation Chapter 7, page 713, personal monies are strictly forbidden from entering government bank accounts, and public money should never be deposited into private bank accounts. Any officer involved in such transactions is deemed to have acted with fraudulent intent, according to the stipulations of the law.