N585M Payment into Private Account: NEFGAD Asks for Suspension and Investigation of Beta Edu

Network for the Actualisation of Social Growth and Viable Development (NEFGAD) a public procurement advocacy group has urged President Bola Tinubu to be impatial in the face of massive corruption allegations rocking the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), insisting that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu should equally be suspended and investigated just as NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu was treated.

A section of the media has reported how the Minister of Humanitarian Affiars and Poverty Alleviation through a memo dated 20th December, 2023 with reference number fmhapa/hq/ohm/s.208 directed the Accountant General of the Federation to make payments of N585,189,500 into a private UBA account 2003682151 belonging to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

In a statement signed and released to the press in Abuja on Saturday through its head of office, Mr Akingunola Omoniyi, NEFGAD said ‘’the recent development in the Humanitarian office has provided president Tinubu a golden opportunity to tell Nigerians and the whole world that he is ready and willing to tackle corruption in a fair, just and impartial manner by also applying same disciplinary measure (suspension) metted on NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu on the Minister for Humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Mrs Beta Edu’’

Akingunola noted that ‘’apart from the fact that Dr. Edu and Mrs. Halima Shehu are from different geographical divide of the country, the tendency and pattern of the allegations involving the duo are too identical and should not have attracted diffrent approaches and measures in dealing with them by the president.

‘’Directing payment of public fund into private account by a public officer is a serious procurent and fiscal malfeasance that attracts serious penalty under extant laws, regulations and rules including the public procurement, Fiscal Responsibility, Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences (ICPC), Code of Conduct Acts and the Anti-mobey Laundering (prevention and prohibition) Act.

Akingunola further stated that the Minister has serious questions to answer by Instructing payment of public fund into private accounts other than that of a legal entity who have duly participated in a competitive selection process and or are direct beneficiaries of a conditional grant scheme (in the case of vulnerable people as captured in the Ministry’s mandate).

The act depicts pure nepotism, favouritism, undue advantage conferment and criminal diversion, he averred. Hence, the group implored president Bola Tinubu to direct the suspension of the Dr. Beta Edu for thorough investigation by relevant anticorruption agencies with immediate effect failure which may call for massive advocacy and court action.
NSCDC to Educate Students on Addressing Security Threats

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has concluded plans to educate and enlighten school children on identifying potential threats and criminal elements that can cause them any harm within and outside their school premises.

The new Commander of the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre ( NSSRCC); Commandant Hammed Abodunrin said thatNSCDC as the lead agency in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure with schools and institutions inclusive; all hands must be on deck in ensuring that school children are safe both at the learning environment and in their respective domain.

He noted that having served as the Ondo and Ogun State Commandant; he is fully aware of the enormous responsibility attached to his new appointment.

He further pointed out that the school children and their teachers would be properly sensitized and enlightened so that they would be able to detect imminent dangers and take necessary actions to avoid being victims.

Abodurin said: “The best form of security is the one you provide for yourselves and it requires a collective effort to empower and educate the school children regardless of their ages on the need to protect themselves and also to be able to identify potential danger when they see one.”

The New NSSRCC Commander appreciated the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi, for giving him a great opportunity to serve adding that the CG as a resourceful and exemplary leader has truly repositioned the Corps for better efficiency and performance.

He said: “the Commandant General hit the ground running when he came on board in 2021 and has brought lots of unprecedented transformation to the NSCDC and till date, he is not tired.

” As a formidable and focused leader, the CG has set a great standard and we must all key into his excellent and impactful agenda.”

Abodurin commended the outgoing Commander of the NSSRCC for his relentless efforts and the successful implementation of various programmes during his tenure of office.

In his address, the outgoing Commander; CSC Tersoo Shaapera acknowledged the enormous challenges that came with the appointment ab initio most especially as a pioneer commander of such a laudable and multitasking project; he however appreciated the team that he worked with assuring the new Commander of a fantastic working relationship.

The National Safe School Response Coordination Centre( NSSRCC) was established on the 13th of February 2023 for the sake of advocacy, sensitisation and capacity building regarding the Federal government’s Safe School Initiative Project and it is domiciled at the NSCDC national headquarters in Abuja. Efforts are ongoing to establish the centre in all states and local governments of the federation.
NDLEA Arrests female bandits’ supplier with cache of ammunition
Intercepts Colos consignment in boxing kits on New Year day

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on New Year day, Monday 1st January 2024 intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos a consignment of Colorado, a very strong strain of cannabis, concealed in boxing kits imported from the United States of America.

A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said a weeklong intelligence-led operation to get the receiver arrested was consummated last Saturday following the successful tracking and arrest of 38-year-old Olorunfunmi Olakunle who distributes the dangerous psychoactive substance to dealers across Lagos state.

Babafemi said the consignment had arrived the country last Monday via Cairo on Egypt Airlines flight marked as boxing kits.

Olakunle during interrogation, disclosed that he has been delivering such consignments to different recipients whenever his childhood friend, US-based Sagir Salami sent them. The latest shipment has a total weight of 1.8 kilogrammes.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old female supplier of ammunition to bandits, Bilkisu Suleiman came top on the list of 12 other suspects arrested by NDLEA operatives in new year interdiction operations in Kaduna, Lagos, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Borno, and Osun states.

Suleiman, according to the statement, was arrested last Wednesday by NDLEA officers on patrol along Zaria – Kano expressway in possession of 249 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition concealed in a black nylon bag kept in her lady’s handbag.

She was on her way to deliver the ammunition to an identified bandit in Kakumi village, Katsina state when she was nabbed after which she was transferred to the Kaduna state command of the Nigeria Police Force for further investigation.

The military authorities at the Bonny camp cantonment in Lagos last Tuesday transferred a suspect, Francis Suru, 37 and 63 jumbo bags of Ghana Loud, a strain of cannabis, weighing 2,104.2 kilogrammes and a truck to the Lagos state command of NDLEA.

Babafemi said the suspect and the drug exhibits were earlier intercepted by NDLEA officers on 12th December 2023 close to the gate of the military cantonment in Bonny Camp, Victoria Island.

According to him, some armed escorts resorted to sporadic shooting to obstruct the operation, a development which attracted soldiers from the cantonment, who eventually intervened and took custody of the consignment and suspect before transferring them to the agency.

In the same vein, NDLEA operatives in Niger state last Thursday during a stop and search operation along Suleja-Kaduna road intercepted a J5 bus coming from Ondo state to Zaria, Kaduna state with 23 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 219.5 kilogrammes. Two suspects: Umar Musa, 26 and Isachiru Abubakar were arrested in connection with the seizure.

Babafemi also disclosed that a female drug trafficker, Queen Onyema, 27, was arrested on Saturday 6th January in a commercial bus enroute Abuja along Okene-Lokoja expressway with 12 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 4.6 kilogrammes and 0.046 kilogrammes designer drugs concealed in an indomie carton, another suspect Mubarak Sani, 20, was nabbed at Gadar Tamburawa area of Kano last Monday with 445.9 kilogrammes of the same psychoactive substance.

In Borno, four suspects: Zanna Alhaji Dala, 32; Musa Umar, 21; Mushe Ibrahim, 23, and Shehu Idris, 19 were arrested at Pomponari bye pass area of the state with 60 kilogrammes cannabis.

Also, in Osun, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Osogbo-Ode Omu road on new year day, intercepted a consignment of illicit drugs sent through waybill from Lagos to Osogbo. A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Ibrahim Olawale, 43. The drugs recovered include: cannabis sativa 10.8 kilogrammes; Loud 150 grammes; Colorado 19 grammes; Molly 5 grammes totalling 10.974 kilogrammes. A digital scale, N18,000 monetary exhibit and customized wrapping papers for Colorado were also seized.

Babafemi said NDLEA Commands across the 36 states and the FCT equally continued their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, sensitisation lectures in schools, communities, work places and others.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the arrests and seizures of the past week by officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Borno, and Osun Commands, charged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to continue to remain vigilant and double their drug demand reduction as well as drug supply reduction efforts in the new year.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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