More Trouble As EFCC Uncover Fresh N17bn Fraud, Tinubu, APC Leaders Told To Resign

● More trouble as EFCC investigators uncover fresh N17bn fraud in humanitarian ministry

● PDP Govs to Tinubu: Resign if you can’t end economic hardship

THE last is yet to be heard about the allegation of fraud rocking the Ministry of Humanitarian and Social Inclusion as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigating the issue have uncovered a fresh fraud of N17bn linked to the ministry.

Investigations by the Sunday Tribune confirmed on Saturday in Abuja that the EFCC officials, who were originally working on the alleged N585 million fraud, which led to the suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu, were shocked to uncover some previously unreported cases totalling N17bn.

It was learnt that the investigators are closing in on the alleged fraud and have also interrogated the suspended minister on the new findings.

A source in the know said: “The commission was surprised to uncover some previously unreported cases of fraud linked to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The amount for now stands at N17billion. You will recall that what was reportedly linked to the suspended minister was N585 million, now the figure has risen and the investigators are closing in on the matter.”

The source further said that investigations are continuing on the matters involving the former minister in the ministry during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, and the suspended Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Hajia Halima Shehu.

It was learnt that Shehu had been cooperating well with investigators and that N30 billion of the N37bn traced to Umar-Farouk has been recovered.

A source said that Shehu told the investigators that she only took pre-emptive steps to prevent the funds from being siphoned by certain forces. The development is coming on the heels of some spirited efforts made by some forces to frustrate investigation into the matter by pushing for the alleged offenders to be given a soft landing.

A source in the know, however, said that President Bola Tinubu had assured his inner caucus that he would not interfere with the EFCC probe on the matter and that the issue of clemency or what a source called “second chance” may not materialise.

READ ALSO: Breaking: Tinubu Suspends Minister of Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu Over Fraud Allegations

READ ALSO: Ahead NEC Meeting, N/Central Moves To Regain APC National Chairmanship

READ ALSO: Four Ministers Resign Over Corruption Allegation

PDP Govs to Tinubu: Resign if you can’t end economic hardship

Governors elected under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have advised President Bola Tinubu and his governing All Progressive Congress (APC) to step aside from power if they are incapable of addressing the current hardship in the country. The call came following the federal government’s reaction to the observation earlier made by the governors that Nigeria may be headed the way of Venezuela if the downward trend was not nipped in the bud.

Recalled the minister of information and national orientation, Mohammed Idris, had blamed the main opposition party for the woes besetting the country, alleging that the PDP governors lack the moral right to criticize government especially as they allegedly owe staff salaries.

But in a counter-reaction at the weekend, the governors through a statement by the Director General of the PDP Governors Forum (PDP GF), Cyril Maduabum, said their observation was made in their patriotic duty, saying that the government should mobilize all Nigerians for sustainable solutions or throw in the towel. They said take the PDP states are comparatively better than others in the country.

The statement recalled that the communique issued by Governor Bala Mohammed-PDP GF patriotically advised the Federal Government to embark on initiatives involving both Federal and Sub-National Governments to tackle the security and economic challenges facing the nation.

It added that the communique “Solemnly reiterated its earlier position for creation of State Police that avoids abuse and overreach by any tier of government. “Dutifully called on the Monetary and Fiscal Authorities of the Federation as the lead agents in a Federal structure to collaboratively find appropriate solutions.

“In the question and answer session, the Chairman of the Forum warned that if urgent steps are not taken, the Venezuela situation would be child’s play in Nigeria. “The above suggestions and advice were given as contributions by patriotic group of Governors as partakers in governance.”

The PDP GF commended President Tinubu for heeding the advisory and “immediately attending the special meeting convened meeting on 15th February 2024, where some of these issues were tabled for discussion between the Federal and State Governments.” However, the forum maintained that the resolutions of the meeting should be followed through.

The statement added: “It must be noted that even though Nigeria is a Federation, there is indeed only one economy. “Hardship and suffering being faced by Nigerians have no tribal, religious or party colouration. A hungry man is an angry man. “While all tiers of government have a role to play, the APC-led Federal Government has a disproportionate role to play in mobilising Nigerians and all organs and tiers of government for sustainable solutions. If it can not do so or is unable to do so, it should graciously throw in the towel.

SOURCE: Tribune

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