Falana Photo

Falana urges Edu to resign for ‘betraying Nigerians

Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has called for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, for “letting down the trust placed in her”.

Falana, in a statement on Sunday, asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to expedite the ongoing probe of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and bring all those involved to justice.

The senior lawyer expressed his dismay at the “highly shameful spectacle” of the minister’s alleged role in approving N585,198,500.00 to be paid into a personal account.

According to a letter purportedly signed by the minister, Edu allegedly directed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the money to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as a grant for vulnerable groups in four states.

However, Madein stated that her office did not act on the request from the humanitarian ministry, even though it received it.

The minister later claimed that there were attempts to smear her reputation, and that she would not steal public funds.

Falana, however, said the minister should stop disrespecting Nigerians, and admit that she failed to deny that she authorized the payment of the funds to a private account, instead of directly transferring them to the beneficiaries’ accounts from the ministry.

He said, “It is noteworthy that the minister has not refuted that she approved the disbursement of the over half a billion Naira to a private account, in violation of the existing Public Service Rules and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Act and the Penal Code applicable in the Federal Capital Territory.

“Rather than apologising to the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria and quitting for disappointing the trust placed in her, the Minister has haughtily said that the N585.18 million fraud allegation is a mere concoction by her enemies and an alleged plot by troublemakers to undermine her ministry’s work in fighting corruption and helping the poor.

“However, even though the Accountant-General of the Federation has successfully prevented the illegal diversion of the said sum of N585.18 million from the public coffers, it is evident from the leaked memo of the Minister that the crime of an attempt to commit a felony has already been committed.

“There is no legal basis for the illegal diversion of the said sum of N585.18 million for distribution to vulnerable people in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos and Ogun States, since the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs has gathered the individual bank accounts of all the vulnerable people.”

By dworldgist.com

Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of www.dworldgist.com and www.gospelrespec.com. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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