Swiftly, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviations presented herself before officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for interrogations as directed by President Tinubu as the Minister of Interior, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo also responded to a summon to meet the President. Both Ministers are embroiled in allegations of corrupt practices
Swiftly, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviations presented herself before officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for interrogations as directed by President Tinubu as the Minister of Interior, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo also responded to a summon to meet the President.
Both Ministers are embroiled in allegations of corrupt practices which are yet to be proven. Suspended Dr. Betta Edu, is answering questions regarding a purported N585 million disbursement authorised by her to be paid into a personal account of her staff while the President Bola Tinubu may have summoned the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo to gather more facts on his involvement in a consultancy contract amounting to N438 million from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs awarded to New Planet Projects Ltd., a company in which the Minister is alleged to have interest.
These are not best of times for the Tinubu government, as at least three cases of corruption involving his top officials are being investigated. The government is fighting back to shed the toga of corruption by taking sten actions against those fingered in such acts. One of such steps led to the suspension of the Dr. Betta Edu.
Following her suspension, the President directed the EFCC chairman to commence an investigation into the activities of the minister and the other agencies under her leadership as she handed over the affairs of the ministry to the permanent secretary.
A statement from Ajuri Ngelale, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, stated that the suspension was in line with Tinubu’s avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians.
Consequently, the anti-graft agencies summoned the suspended minister to face the investigator today to defend herself from the allegation against her, in which she was accused of writing a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation with the instruction that she should pay a sum of money into a private account.
In a similar vein, the president summoned the interior minister today to inquire about his involvement in the purported contract given to New Planet Project Limited, a company connected to him through the temporarily suspended minister of poverty alleviation and humanitarian affairs.
A leaked letter from the suspended minister of humanitarian and poverty alleviation mentioned the firm linked to Mr -Tunji-Ojo as one of the beneficiaries of the contracts. However, the minister has come out to deny his involvement in the business with the defence that he resigned from the directorship of the company in 2019, even though he co-founded the company with his wife fifteen years ago.
He also stated that he is not a signatory to the company because he left his position five years prior. However, the development continue to elicit reactions from Nigerians, who are divided on the matter. While some feel the Minister should be suspended for a thorough investigation, others argue that the Minister has not breached any law of the land but may compromised on ethical grounds.
It is yet to be seen what the President’s action would be on the Minister for Interior who is perceived by many as one of the leading performers in Tinubu’s administration.