The last is yet to be heard over the crisis trailing the mystery surrounding suspension of the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of National Social Investment Programme Agency, NSIPA, Hajia Halima Shehu over unfounded allegation of fund diversion from the Agency’s coffer.
But fresh information over the financial impropriety from sources familiar with the operations of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation/Agency revealed after the NSIPA Accounting Officer’s interrogation, revealed that, the hunter is gradually being hunted, as the Minister, Dr. Betta Edu is now being put on the spot to explain the utilisation of over N3 billion she allegedly withdrew the Agency’s coffer within one month.
According to the sources who crave anonymity for security reasons,
the Minister who may also be invited by the anti-graft Agency to explain her role in the scandal, allegedly withdrew the fund without an authorization or the knowledge of the suspended Hajia Halima Shehu.
The sources said that the money was said to have been allegedly used by the Minister for National Social Register (NSR) verification without giving a proper proof of utilisation.
The sources who described Hajia Shehu as innocent of the allegation, also revealed that the suspended NSIPA Boss, has been witnessing series of witch-hunting from the Minister since the suspended NSIPA Boss vowed not to compromise since she realized the illegal act by the Minister.
It was revealed that to prevent subsequent illegal withdrawal of the funds without authorization, the embattled Hajia Shehu resolved to transfer the remaining funds into Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and Grants for Vulnerable Groups (GVG).
While arguing that the Fund is in safe custody known to Federal Government, the Sources close to the Ministry/Agency said her stand not to compromise triggered the Minister’s action in setting her up and turning the tables which resulted to Halima Shehu’s unconstitutional suspension by a letter sent by the Minister herself instead of the Presidency which has sparked reactions from Human Rights Activists, Civil Societies and Concerned Nigerians.
In line with the script being acted upon, Hajia Shehu is currently being interrogated at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where she reportedly made eye-opening evidences available to the Commission.
Halima Shehu who is fondly called Mrs Transparent by those familiar with her activities in the banking sector and NSIPA under the last administration, had on resumption of duty sequel to her appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reaffirmed her resolve to ensure accountability and transparency in the implementation of the $800 million World Bank Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme.
Speaking recently on the role of the NSIPA in poverty alleviation under President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, Hajia Shehu described NSIPA as the human face of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, which the agency had always took seriously.