• Monday, February 26, 2024
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BusinessDay

EFCC interogates Accountant General in N585m humanitarian ministry probe

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, over her alleged role in a N585.2 million fraud involving the recently suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr Betta Edu.

Madein, the custodian of Nigeria’s purse strings, faced intense questioning over six hours at the EFCC headquarters on Monday. While she was released without formal charges, the interrogation highlights the deepening probe into alleged financial malfeasance at the heart of the government.

Leaked documents suggest Edu orchestrated the unauthorized transfer of N585.2 million from the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) account to the personal account of a ministry official.

Madein, however, vehemently denied approving the controversial memo, stating that budgetary allocations are disbursed directly to self-accounting agencies entrusted with project implementation and payments.

Edu, who underwent a 10-hour grilling session by the EFCC last week, was eventually suspended by President Bola Tinubu on January 8th. This followed earlier reports outlining the irregular transfer of humanitarian funds into a private account.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency’s net widens further, with Halima Shehu, the embattled head of the NSIP agency, also under investigation for a separate N44 billion cash fraud.

The escalating crisis raises serious concerns about potential mismanagement and misappropriation at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, a nationwide body tasked with alleviating poverty and hardship.

President Tinubu’s swift suspension of Edu and the intensified investigations clearly signal zero tolerance for corruption within his administration.

However, with ongoing probes and unfolding revelations, the full extent of alleged financial irregularities remains unclear. Further scrutiny and transparency are crucial to restoring public trust and ensuring that vital humanitarian funds reach those most in need.