Betta Edu instructed the accountant-general to transfer N585,189,500 to the UBA account of one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola…
Rasheed Zubair, media aide to Betta Edu, minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, says the N585 million grant for vulnerable groups was approved.
Zubair spoke in reaction to a leaked letter in which Edu asked Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, accountant-general of the federation, to transfer N585 million to a private bank account.
In the letter, Edu instructed the accountant-general to transfer N585,189,500 to the UBA account of one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.
The minister had said the funds are meant to be grants for “vulnerable groups”.
Reacting to the criticism that trailed the decision, Zubair, in a statement on Friday, said the transfer of the N585 million followed “due process”.
Zubair said Bridget, whose bank account was stated to receive the payment, is the project accountant for the Grants for Vulnerable Groups (GVG) scheme.
The media adviser said it is “legal in civil service” for a project accountant to receive payments, use funds legally and retire all receipts as evidence of the project.
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He added that the circulation of the document on social media was another attempt to blackmail the minister.
“It is glaring that the same sponsored disgruntled elements in the past few days have been trying to smear the Honourable Minister, Dr Betta Edu, and stain her integrity because she alerted the Federal Government attention to the ongoing N44.8 Billion Fraud in NSIPA,” the statement reads.
“These elements have been trying to link her to a phantom fraud and are behind this latest misadventure.
“However, this latest vile effort of theirs is another infantile blackmail doomed for evisceration. For the avoidance, the said N585,198,500.00 was approved, and it is meant for the implementation of grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states.”