EFCC quizzes AGF over N585m humanitarian ministry scandal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has interrogated the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, over an alleged link to a N585.2 million fraud involving the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr Betta Edu.

The AGF was quizzed by EFCC interrogators at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja on Monday.

Details of the interrogation obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday revealed that Madein was grilled for over six hours and was released with no condition in the evening.

An impeccable anti-graft source, who confirmed the development to our correspondent, revealed that she was queried over the payment of N585.2 million of government funds from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs into the private bank account of a government official.

The source said, “The Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, has been invited and interrogated by the commission. She was grilled for over six hours on Monday over the payment of N585.2m from the National Social Investment Office account to the UBA account of Bridget Oniyelu, the accountant of the Grants for Vulnerable Groups under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The AGF was not detained, and she was released with no condition after she made her explanation in writing to the investigators during interrogation. However, she told interrogators that she didn’t approve the memo from Minister Edu for the payment into a private account.”

A leaked memo revealed how Edu, in December 2023, requested the Accountant General to transfer the money from the National Social Investment Office account to the UBA account of Oniyelu, the accountant of the Grants for Vulnerable Groups under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

However, the AGF, in a statement, countered the claim by the suspended minister, while noting that allocations were released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget and that such MDAs were responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.

Edu was last week, Tuesday, grilled by operatives of the EFCC for over 10 hours over alleged N585 million fraud in her ministry. She was suspended on Monday, January 8, by President Bola Tinubu, and is being accused of paying the humanitarian fund into a private account.

Also, Halima Shehu, the embattled Co-ordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, domiciled in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, is being probed by the EFCC over an alleged N44 billion cash fraud.