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JUST IN: Tinubu Orders Probe Of Betta Edu’s Ministry

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation led by Betta Edu.

Theheute reports that the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known in a statement on Sunday.

The statement follows reports surrounding Edu’s alleged involvement in the approval of N585,198,500.00 to be disbursed into a personal account.

In a letter allegedly signed by the humanitarian minister, Edu instructed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, to transfer the sum to the account of one Oniyelu Bridget as grant for vulnerable groups in four states.

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However, Madein explained that although her office received a request from the humanitarian ministry to make certain payments, her office did not act on it.

Edu, 37, the youngest minister in the President’s cabinet, subsequently said there were plans to tarnish her image, adding that she won’t embezzle government funds.

In a statement on Sunday, the information minister acknowledged the uproar over the development, saying that the “government is determined to unravel the truth”.

Idris said, “In light of recent events, the President has directed that a thorough and comprehensive investigation be conducted to ascertain the accuracy and validity of the reported details.

“The government is determined to unravel the truth as it relates to this matter, and assures that appropriate action will be taken to ensure that any breaches and infractions are identified and decisively punished, in line with the Administration’s commitment to public accountability and due process.”

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The information minister said Nigerians would be informed on the progress of the investigation.

“We urge Nigerians to exercise patience as the investigation unfolds. The government is focused on ensuring a fair and unbiased process, and the findings will be communicated duly and transparently to the public,” he said.

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Crime

Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC chairman

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

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Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

Theheute reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

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The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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FAAN reopens Lagos airport runway after Dana Air incident

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has announced the reopening of Runway 18L/36R at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, following a temporary closure caused by a Dana Air plane skidding off the runway on Tuesday

This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah, on Wednesday.

The statement read, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is pleased to notify the public and all stakeholders that Runway 18L/36R was reopened for flight operations at 19:58hrs.

“This development follows the earlier closure of the runway this morning due to an incident involving a Dana Air aircraft, with registration number 5N-BKI, which overshot the runway during its landing sequence.

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“Prompt actions were taken by our emergency response team to evacuate and recover the aircraft from the site. Subsequently, comprehensive clearing operations were conducted to ensure the runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris that could impede flight safety, Orah added.

According to the statement, the FAAN Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency have jointly inspected the runway surface and deemed it safe for the resumption of operations.

FAAN acknowledged that the area affected by the overshoot was significantly muddy, necessitating extensive cleaning efforts to restore safety.

“A concerted effort was made for the thorough and efficient cleaning of the area to facilitate the swift resumption of operations on Runway 18L/36R,” she said.

Orah apologised for any inconvenience caused, stating, “Ensuring the safety and security of our passengers, staff, and airport operations remains our top priority.

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“FAAN is committed to providing a safe, secure, and efficient air transport environment for all users of our airports.

“FAAN wishes to express its gratitude to the travelling public, our airline partners, and all stakeholders for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the temporary closure. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused,” the statement read.

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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