By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation says the allegation of N585m ($643,700) fraud allegation against her is baseless and unfounded, describing it as a plot by mischief makers to undermine her ministry’s effort in fighting corruption.
Betta Edu came under fierce criticism after a memo surfaced where she directed the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer N585 million to a private account owned by one Oniyelu Bridget.
The instruction for the payment is contained in a leaked memo dated December 20, 2023.
Bridget currently serves as the Project Accountant, Grants for Vulnerable Groups, the ministry claimed.
But dismissing any complicit in the transfer which the Accountant-General of the Federation said was not honoured, Edu in a Facebook post on Saturday said graft allegations against her is being promoted by those whose hands are unclean.
She said, “I am writing to address recent news circulating about alleged fraud within the Ministry of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation.
“As the minister, I want to assure you that these claims are baseless and an attempt to undermine the efforts we are making to fight corruption and uplift those in need.
“In the course of our work, we have encountered resistance from forces whose hands may not be clean, but I want to emphasise that our commitment to transparency, accountability, and eradicating corruption remains unwavering.
“The challenges we face only strengthen our resolve to serve with integrity and dedication.
“I believe in the power of truth prevailing, and with God as my strength, I am confident that our collective efforts will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of the less privileged. Your trust and support are invaluable as we navigate through these unfounded allegations.”
The ministry on Friday claimed the N585.18m grant for vulnerable groups in four states was approved after following the stipulated due process of government, contrary to her Saturday claim that it was a mere fabrication.