Why I approved payment of N585m into private account – Tinubu’s Minister, Betta Edu

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In the ongoing financial corruption scandal surrounding the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, there are still uncertainties about its final outcome.

A recent document has surfaced, suggesting that Minister Edu Betta may have disbursed N585,198,500.00 into a personal account.

The document, which went viral, is a directive signed by Edu and addressed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation. It instructs the disbursement of N585,198,500.00 to an individual named Oniyelu Bridget.

Furthermore, the document reveals that the payment was supposed to be a grant of N585.198 million for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states. However, this grant was deposited into Oniyelu’s account.

In response to these allegations, Rasheed Zubair, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister, insists that the payment of N585.198 million to support the vulnerable groups followed the proper procedures. He explains that the payment was made to Oniyelu Bridget because she currently serves as the Project Accountant of “Gra”.

He explained that the payment of the N585.198 million grant was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos 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.

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