The Youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo has condemned the media trial against the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, in the alleged N583m financial wrongdoing.
The group equally commended President Tinubu for setting up a presidential panel to investigate the veracity of the allegations instead of sacking her outright.
The National youth leader, Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, who addressed the press conference, on Sunday, called on Nigerians to allow her fair hearing and let the ongoing investigation run its course without media trial.
The statement read, “Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo Youth Wing commends President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for his proactiveness and adherence to the Rule of Law on the issue of the recently suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu. We also thank him for setting up a presidential panel to investigate the veracity of the allegations instead of sacking her outright.
“Consequently, we hereby wish to rally support for the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Edu, by calling on Nigerians to allow her fair hearing and let the ongoing investigation run its course without media trial. Nigerians should give her the benefit of the doubt until the series of investigations into her involvement in the alleged N583m financial wrongdoing have proved her to be complicit.
“Judging by the actions of some persons in the media, it is obvious that there is too much media trial around Dr Edu and those who wanted her out of favour with the Federal Government are sustaining the spins to her disadvantage.
“Media trial is unfair. An allegation has been levelled against her, and President Bola Tinubu, in his wisdom, had suspended her to allow for transparent and unimpeded investigation. The best thing to do in the circumstance is to allow the process of investigation to conclude instead of crucifying her as if she had been found to be guilty.
“There is the need to find what the problem really was about the memo she put up to the Accountant General of the Federation, although, the Accountant General had said that she did not honour the payment.
“If that was correct and we also give her (Accountant General) the benefit of the doubt that she would not have lied, then the subject of investigation of the N583 million could as well pale down to the propriety of routing the memo, and perhaps the request for the sum to be paid into a personal account of a Project Accountant.
“That would only be a matter of administrative infelicity and not financial heists since the Accountant General had confirmed that she did not honour the payment.
We are of the view that Nigerians should hold their peace during the pendency of the series of investigations, which we believe would either prove or disprove wrongdoing.
“As a young, vibrant and brilliant woman, Dr Edu had from the outset of her ministerial stewardship warmed her way into our heart as a result of her demonstrable commitment and zeal in applying herself to her assignment.
“If it is confirmed in the long run that she had committed some administrative infractions and not necessarily monetary diversion, we shall very well urge President Bola Tinubu to review her suspension and allow her to continue as a member of his cabinet.
Betta was entrusted with a Ministry as huge as the Humanitarian Affairs and “Poverty Alleviation and everyone can attest to the fact that she remains one of the best in the Tinubu-led Government, We must be careful not to throw away the baby with the bathwater.”