Humanitarian Ministry Scandal: Presidency, CCB, RTEAN React As Betta Edu, Tunji-Ojo Face Probe

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has been embroiled in a series of controversies involving its suspended Minister, Betta Edu, her predecessor Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, and the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo. Naija News brings you the latest reactions from the Presidency, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and the Road Transport Employer Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on the scandal.

The Presidency has responded to the demands by some Nigerians and opposition parties for the suspension of Tunji-Ojo, who was accused of benefiting from an N438 million contract from the humanitarian ministry. According to Daily24Apps, a leaked document showed that New Planet Projects, a company co-founded by Tunji-Ojo, received the money as “consultancy fees” from the ministry, which has been facing several allegations of corruption. However, Tunji-Ojo has denied any involvement in the contract, claiming that he resigned from the company in 2019.

The CCB has confirmed that it has invited Tunji-Ojo for questioning over the contract scandal. The Bureau, in a letter signed by its Director of Investigation and Monitoring, Gwimi S.P., asked Tunji-Ojo to appear before it on Tuesday (today) at its headquarters in Abuja. The letter stated that the Bureau was investigating the alleged violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by Tunji-Ojo. The spokesperson of the CCB, Veronica Kato, said that the Bureau was determined to get to the root of the matter.

The Presidency has also revealed that President Bola Tinubu has approved N3 billion for the verification of the National Social Register. The social register was established by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for cash transfers and other social intervention programmes. A memo from the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, dated December 18, 2023, indicated that the N3 billion for the verification was from the COVID-19 relief fund. The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, told The Punch that the Presidency was probing the activities of the humanitarian ministry.

Meanwhile, the suspended Minister, Betta Edu, who was accused of mismanaging the COVID-19 relief fund and other funds meant for the poor and vulnerable, is facing a panel of inquiry set up by the Presidency. Edu, who took over from Umar-Farouq in October 2023, was suspended in December 2023, following a series of protests and petitions against her. Edu has denied any wrongdoing and said that she was ready to clear her name.

The Chief Medical Director of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti, Professor Kayode Olabanji, has condemned the attack on the hospital by some hoodlums on Monday. The hoodlums, who were allegedly searching for the corpse of their father, assaulted some doctors, vandalised some facilities, and stole the body. The attack prompted the doctors to go on an indefinite strike, demanding improved security and welfare.

Olabanji said that the management of the hospital would not tolerate any act of violence or anarchy at the hospital. He said that the management had deployed four armed policemen at the Accident and Emergency unit and two at the main gate to enhance security at the hospital. He also said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Oke-Ila Division, SP Sesan Falade, had assured frequent patrol of the hospital premises.

Olabanji added that the management and the DPO had met with the State Chairman of the RTEAN, Mr Sunday Adeola, and ordered him to produce the ring leader of the hoodlums. Adeola, who expressed regret over the incident, said that the association was cooperating with the police to identify and apprehend the culprits.

Related Articles

Back to top button