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Betta Edu: Corruption Scandal Under Buhari Are Reappearing Under Tinubu – Kperogi




Corruption Scandal Under Buhari Are Reappearing Under Tinubu - Kperogi

Nigerian-American professor, Farooq Kperogi, has said some of the corruption scandals that rocked the Muhammadu Buhari administration have started happening under President Bola Tinubu.

Keprogi stated in an article on his Facebook page on Saturday while reacting to media reports of corruption scandals rocking two agencies under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Recall that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, had asked the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, to send public funds to a private account.

It was gathered that the private account belongs to Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola, identified as a project manager of the vulnerable groups in the ministry.

Reacting to the development, Kperogi called on President Bola Tinubu to sack Edu for ordering the transfer of public funds into a private account, which is against the law.

He asserted that if Tinubu did not fire Edu forthwith and bring her to justice, he had already lost the moral high ground to try Buhari’s corrupt appointees.

The professor said Edu had started the same pattern of theft by her predecessor, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who has been invited by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said; “In a June 23, 2020, article titled “Sabiu Yusuf’s Fat Bank Accounts that Shocked CBN Governor” where I revealed that Muhammadu Buhari’s relative Sabiu “Tunde” Yusuf had salted away so much money in banks that even former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele was so alarmed that he advised him to divvy up the money into different accounts.

“I said, ‘The stench bomb of fetid corruption that will explode after Buhari leaves office would be so unprecedentedly malodorous it would deaden Nigeria’s collective nasal sensibility for a long time.’

“At the time, some people thought I was merely being hyperbolic for literary effect. But isn’t that what is happening now? Every day, we are regaled with stories of mindless, freewheeling theft of our public wealth by officials and relatives of Muhammadu Buhari. And what we’ve learned so far is just a tip of the iceberg.

“All that happened during Muhammadu Buhari’s eight-year reign was unstrained, stratospheric, eyewatering corruption the scale of which Nigeria had never experienced. It was a raucous, brazen, cheerfully irresponsible kleptocratic bazaar. While it happened, governance took the backseat, leading me to characterize Buhari’s reign as the era of “ungovernance.”

“Sadiya Umar Farouq’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has also turned out to be one of the most putrid morasses of venality and fraud during the Buhari years. Sadiya is now predictably dodging the EFCC using the favourite tactic of Nigerian elites entwined in the web of accounting for their corruption: pretence of ill health.

“When I read that the EFCC was inviting her to account for more than N37 billion that she allegedly laundered, I was shocked by the “smallness” of the amount in light of what I know about the magnitude of pillaging she perpetrated at the ministry. I was relieved when I read a January 4th EFCC statement saying, “We are still tracing all the transactions, hence we cannot put a figure to everything now as the investigation is still ongoing.

“We are talking here of a woman who spent more than N500 million to feed non-existent schoolkids in their homes in Lagos, Ogun, and the FCT while schools were closed in 2020, a woman whom a 2017 Daily Nigerian report said stole dabinos worth millions of naira donated to IDPs by Saudi Arabia during Ramadan (which she hasn’t denied) while she was Federal Commissioner in charge of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

“Unfortunately, some of the crimes Buhari’s people committed in his eight-year reign are reappearing now. It has now come to light, for example, that Betta Chimaobim Edu, the successor to Sadiya Umar Farouq, has started the same pattern of theft by her predecessor.

“In a leaked December 20, 2023, memo to the Accountant-General of the Federation, Edu instructed that money designated for “Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos,” which amounted to more than N500 million, should be paid into the private UBA account of a Bridget Mojisola Oniyelu in violation of Nigeria’s public sector financial regulation law.

“The regulation says public money should not, under any circumstance, be paid into private bank accounts. “Any officer who pays public money into a private bank account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intentions,” section 713 of the act says.

“This is a momentous moment for Tinubu. If he does not fire Edu forthwith and bring her to justice, he has already lost the moral high ground to try Buhari’s corrupt honchos.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.