The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is involved in an alleged financial corruption controversy that may still need to be ended. According to a surfaced document, Minister Edu Betta may have transferred N585,198,500.00 into a personal account.

In a widely circulated document addressed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and signed by Edu, the Minister directed that N585,198,500.00 be paid to one Oniyelu Bridget.

The document additionally demonstrated that N585.198 million, the award intended for vulnerable communities in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom, was deposited into Oniyelu’s account.

Rasheed Zubair, the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, responded to the development by stating that the N585.198 million payment for the disadvantaged group was made in accordance with the law.

According to him, the grant was paid to Oniyelu Bridget’s account because the fellow is currently the Project Accountant for Grants for Vulnerable Groups.

He clarified that the N585.198 million grant was intended to support vulnerable populations in Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom states.

“For the avoidance, the said N585m was approved, and it is meant to implement grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states.

“We must note that GVG was first launched in Kogi State, where recipients testified. Akwa Ibom and Cross River were launched in December 2023. Kogi already happened in November, and others will be launched in the coming weeks.

“The general public is invited to note that the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups is one of the social intervention schemes of the Federal Government, which the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is implementing.

“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance, and it is legal in civil service for a staff, the project accountant, to be paid and use the same funds legally and retire the same with all receipts and evidence after the project or programme is completed”, he stated.

Nigerians expressed confusion on social media about the development, questioning why a sizable portion of the federal government’s funds would be transferred to a single person’s account.

ZINGTIE has discovered that the 2009 public sector financial regulations forbid the transfer of public funds to a private individual’s account.

Section 713 of the law states, “Personal money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government bank account, nor shall any public money be paid into a private bank account. An officer who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intention.”

Remember how President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended Halima Shehu, the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, an organization under Edu, just four days ago on suspicion of embezzlement?

As a result, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, arrested and interrogated Halima Shehu on an alleged N44 billion scam.

After a probe, the EFCC blocked N30 billion transferred from NSIPA’s accounts.

Comparably, the EFCC invited Sadiya Umar-Farouq, a former ministry minister, to testify about a financial fraud that one contractor, James Okwete, purportedly orchestrated.

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