Nigeria’s Tinubu suspends humanitarian minister facing financial probe

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s president has suspended the minister of humanitarian affairs with immediate effect and asked the corruption watchdog to investigate financial transactions involving her ministry, the president’s spokesperson said on Monday.

Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, is the first minister to be suspended, less than six months after her appointment by President Bola Tinubu, who won last year’s disputed elections vowing to revive growth in Africa’s biggest economy and fight corruption.

Spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale said the president had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into all aspects of the financial transactions involving Edu’s ministry.

Edu could not immediately be reached for comment.

Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer, Nigeria has struggled for decades with endemic corruption among senior public servants and the political elite, who many Nigerians blame for widespread poverty in the country.

Tinubu asked a panel led by Finance Minister Wale Edun to review the framework of social protection programmes meant for poor households in a bid to win back public trust.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah,; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha,; Editing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Ed Osmond)