Nigeria retrieves $28.8M from Minister of Poverty Alleviation who was suspended.


Last Sunday, the Nigerian anti-corruption commission announced that $28.8 million belonging to Minister of Poverty Alleviation and Humanitarian Affairs Betta Edu, who is currently under investigation for fraudulent activities, has been recovered.

“Investigations into the alleged fraud involving [officials of the Humanitarian Ministry] have yielded the recovery of N32.7 billion [about $28.7 million] and $445,000 so far,” Dele Oyewale, the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said.

According to him, the commission is conducting a similar investigation into commercial banks in the country implicated in the fraud, while the probe is “ongoing and advancing steadily”.

Moreover, Oyewale said the EFCC also carried out “discreet” investigations that revealed other fraudulent transactions with funds given to the ministry by the federal government to carry out its anti-poverty mandate, which involved COVID-19 relief funds, World Bank loan, as well as money given by foreign countries to return to the country the wealth stolen from the state treasury by the country’s former president, Sani Abacha.

The spokesman also thanked fellow Nigerians for “the avalanche of public awakening, support and involvement” demonstrated in regard to this investigation.

In January, Tinubu suspended Edu and several high-ranking government officials for transferring money allocated for assistance to the poor to their personal bank accounts.

The commission is also simultaneously investigating another major corruption case involving the former governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Godwin Emefiele.

Earlier in April, the EFCC indicted Emefiele on 26 new charges, including $2 billion worth of foreign exchange fraud.

The initial charge filed against Emefiele by the government last August consisted of 20 counts amounting to 6.5 billion naira (about $5.7 million).


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