N585m Palliative Transferred into Private Account Legal – Beta Edu’s Aide

The Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Rasheed Zubair, has maintained that N585,198,500.00 disbursed into a personal account by the ministry as grant for vulnerable groups is legal and in line with extant civil service rules.

The minister has come under fire after a document she personally signed and directed to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, instructing the disbursement of the funds to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola was leaked.

The fund according to the document was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states, and was made into Oniyelu’s account.

Zubair while reacting to the leaked document, said the payment to the personal account followed due process.

The payment of the grant to the account of Bridget was because the fellow currently serves as the Project Accountant of Grants for Vulnerable Groups, according to Zubair.

He said: “It is glaring that the same sponsored disgruntled elements in the past few days have been trying to smear the Honourable Minister, Dr Betta Edu, and stain her integrity because she alerted the Federal Government attention to the on-going N44.8 billion fraud in NSIPA.

“These elements have been trying to link her to a phantom fraud and are behind this latest misadventure. However, this latest vile effort of theirs is another infantile blackmail doomed for evisceration.

“For the avoidance, the said N585m was approved, and it is meant to implement grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states.

“We must note that GVG was first launched in Kogi State, where recipients testified. Akwa Ibom and Cross River were launched in December 2023. Kogi already happened in November, and others will be launched in the coming weeks.

“The general public is invited to note that the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups is one of the social intervention schemes of the Federal Government, which the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is implementing.

“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance, and it is legal in civil service for a staff, the project accountant, to be paid and use the same funds legally and retire the same with all receipts and evidence after the project or programme is completed.”