EFCC Seizes Betta Edu, Sadiya Umar-Farouq’s Passports Amidst Ministry Scandal

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EFCC Seizes Betta Edu, Sadiya Umar-Farouq’s Passports Amidst Ministry Scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken possession of the passports belonging to Betta Edu, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and her predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, The Herald reports.

This move comes in the wake of ongoing investigations into alleged scandals within the ministry. The confiscation restricts both of them from international travel until their passports are returned.

Betta Edu faced questioning at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday concerning a reported N44 billion fraud within the ministry.

In connection with the alleged fraud, three managing directors of banks were also interrogated and required to submit transaction documents related to the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.

The scandal unfolded after a leaked memo revealed Edu’s directive to transfer N585 million to a private account, purportedly designated for vulnerable groups in four states.

Edu defended the payment, citing civil service protocols that permit such transfers to staff accounts.

President Bola Tinubu suspended Betta Edu following public pressure, instructing her to hand over responsibilities to the ministry’s permanent secretary.

EFCC sources confirmed the probe into senior bank executives, highlighting their deep involvement in the fraud investigation.

An anonymous source at the EFCC headquarters said, “The MDs of the banks were grilled by our interrogators at the EFCC headquarters on Tuesday.

“They were invited and are being probed in connection with the uncovered N44 billion fraud and the N585 million involving Halima Shehu and Betta Edu.

“The suspended minister and the coordinator have both given new revelations during their interrogations, and the investigation is still ongoing.”

Former Vice President and 2023 presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, criticised the All Progressives Congress (APC), alleging the exploitation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for political gain.

While commending the suspension of Minister Edu, Atiku said it was insufficient.

Atiku questioned Edu’s appointment, saying that she shouldn’t have been appointed in the first place.

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