Fraud: EFCC quizzes AGF, invites more ministry officials

Oluwatoyin Madein

Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein

By Isaac Aregbesola

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, and also invited more members of staff of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs over alleged N585.2m fraud in the ministry.

An EFCC source told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Madein and some other members of staff were invited over an alleged link to the alleged N585.2m case involving the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr Betta Edu.

The source said that the AGF was quizzed by EFCC interrogators for several hours at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters, Jabi, Abuja but was later released.

The source said that Madein was queried over the payment of N585.2 million of government funds from the ministry into the private bank account of a government official.

Madein, according to the source, told interrogators that she didn’t approve the memo from Minister Edu for the payment into a private account.

“She was grilled for several hours on Monday over the payment of N585.2m from the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) account to the UBA account of Bridget Oniyelu, the Accountant of the Grants for Vulnerable Groups under the ministry.

“She told the investigators that she didn’t approve Edu’s memo for payment into private accounts.

“She was not detained and was released with no condition after she made her explanation in writing to the investigators during interrogation.”

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The source said some ministry officials were invited to explain their involvement in the exercise, adding that some were quizzed and released while others were detained depending on the level of their involvement.

“I don’t know how many of them that were released or being detained but some of them were still in the custody depending on their involvement,” the source said.

A leaked memo revealed how Edu, in December 2023, allegedly requested Madein to transfer the money from the NSIO account to the UBA account of Oniyelu, the accountant of the Grants for Vulnerable Groups under the ministry.

The AGF, however, in a statement, countered the claim by the suspended minister.

She noted that allocations were released to self-accounting MDAs in line with the budget and such MDAs were responsible for the implementation of their projects and payments for such projects.

The minister, who was suspended on Jan. 8, by President Bola Tinubu, was last week Tuesday grilled by operatives of the EFCC for more than 10 hours over the alleged fraud in her ministry.

The N585 million was meant for payment of grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Cross River and Ogun states.

Also, Halima Shehu, the embattled Co-ordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency domiciled in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, is also being probed by the EFCC over an alleged N44 billion fraud.

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