The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded for the immediate suspension, investigation and possible prosecution of the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, over his reported involvement in the alleged siphoning of N438 million poverty alleviation fund under the watch of the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.
The party described it as inexcusable that the two ministers directly entrusted with the wellbeing of Nigerians reportedly used a company in which the Minister of Interior has a huge interest to allegedly siphon funds meant for poor Nigerians under the guise of consultancy fees for unsubstantiated verification of households in the country.
In a statement by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP asked President Bola Tinubu to “take immediate action to protect the resources meant for the wellbeing of poor Nigerians from further plundering by suspending the Interior Minister over the alleged fraud and hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation like his suspended counterpart.”
“Nigerians are appalled by the lame excuse by Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo in claiming that he has no interest in the company despite his confession of owning huge shares in the firm; a channel through which he allegedly benefitted immensely from the said fraudulent consultancy fee payment.
“Such apparent money laundering stunt is again consistent with the crafty character and proclivity of the APC for plundering of public resources.
“This is especially given allegations in the public space that bulk of the money was diverted to private accounts of cronies of prominent APC leaders in the National Assembly and the Presidency.
“The PDP challenges the Interior Minister to publish the details of the due process certification documents, the scope of the job, the experts and modules used, as well as particulars of the 11 million Nigerian households claimed to have been verified within a space of one month,” the party stated.
The opposition party stated that the continued stay in office of Tunji-Ojo as Minister of Interior “can only further confirm the PDP’s position that the Tinubu-led APC administration is a haven for treasury looters.”
“The PDP asserts that the only way President Tinubu can reassure Nigerians is to immediately relieve the Minister of Interior and allow for an independent inquiry into the disbursement of the N438 million with the view to not only exposing and prosecuting all those involved in the alleged scam but also to recover and channel the money for the wellbeing of Nigerians,” the statement concluded.