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Forget about Betta Edu’s reappointment – Tinubu to party leaders



President Bola Tinubu has ruled out the possibility of reinstating Dr Betta Edu as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

The President suspended Edu from office on January 8 for her alleged involvement in financial scandal running into billions of Naira belonging to the ministry.

Edu was found to have illegally approved payment of hundreds of millions of Naira to some private companies and civil servants in contravention of extant rules.

One of the payments was the N585 million paid into the United Bank for Africa (UBA) account of a project accountant in the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry. A company belonging to the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo was also reported to have received N438 million payment for unverifiable contract.

The suspended Minister is currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while Tunji-Ojo is being investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

However, some prominent chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are reported to be mounting pressure on the President to give Edu a soft landing.

It was gathered on Sunday that the party leaders hinged their pleas on the fact that Edu, in her previous position as National Woman Leader of the APC, played a key role in mobilising support for Tinubu’s election during the last electioneering.

They reminded the President that it was in recognition of her contribution to the victory of the APC in the last presidential election that earned her the ministerial appointment in the first place.

A top party source privy to the rapprochement moves, told our correspondent on Sunday, that party leaders were however not unmindful of the effects of the Edu scandal on the image of the APC at the national level.

The source, who did not want his name in print, said, “It was a difficult task trying to convince President Tinubu to give Edu a soft landing despite the fact that she payed a prominent role during the residential campaign.

“Edu wept profusely when some of our leaders managed to prevail on the President to grant her audience a few days ago. But the president was not moved one bit.

“President Tinubu did not mince words in telling her and the party leaders pleading on her behalf that she should forget about reinstatement. However, the President left everyone guessing regarding her ongoing investigation by the EFCC”.

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