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Some £19m Reportedly Found in Betta Edu, Embattled Minister’s Bank Accounts

Edu Betta
Edu Betta

A corruption investigation into a suspended Nigerian minister whose job is to help poverty-stricken people has recovered £19 million from more than 50 bank accounts, a financial watchdog has alleged.

Betta Edu, embattled humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation minister, has been suspended since January over the alleged diversion of £505,000 of public money into a personal bank account.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has now said that after six weeks investigating the ministry, it had found “many angles” to examine, the BBC reported.

‘That is no child’s play’

Ola Olukoyede, the commission chairman, told the latest edition of the agency’s newsletter: “As it is now, we are investigating over 50 bank accounts that we have traced money into.

“That is no child’s play. That’s a big deal.”

President Bola Tinubu in early January ordered “a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transaction”, and officials suspended several government aid programmes.

At the time Dr Edu, 37, denied any wrongdoing. Her office said she had approved the transfer into a personal account, which was not in her name, but said it was for the “implementation of grants to vulnerable groups”.

The recovered money had already been transferred to government coffers, Mr Olukoyede said, but warned that the investigation could be lengthy.

He said: “We are exploring so many discoveries that we have stumbled upon in our investigation.

“If it is about seeing people in jail, well let them wait, everything has a process to follow.”

Nigerians complain that Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country remains plagued by corruption, despite regular government vows to clean it up.

The country in 2023 scored 25 on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

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