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N10M payment scandal rocks Nigeria’s presidency



N10M payment scandal rocks Nigeria’s presidency

Nigeria’s presidency has come under scrutiny following the revelation of a N10 million advance payment made to a personal account belonging to Abbas Haruna Katsalla.

The funds were purportedly for the purchase of consumables for Nana Shettima, wife of Vice President Kashim Shettima, according to an investigation by FIJ.

The transaction, facilitated by the state house headquarters on March 15, 2024, was recorded as catering to the needs of the “office of the wife of the VP”—a fictional office with no constitutional backing.

FIJ’s examination of the state house’s 2024 transaction records, available on the Open Treasury Portal and duplicated on the Govspend Portal, highlighted the suspicious payment with the reference number 1001161608-2.

The description read: “Being payment of cash advance granted for the purchase of consumable items, for the office of her excellency, wife of the VP.”

Despite the lack of constitutional support, the office of the wife of the vice president is listed on the state house’s website, complete with Nana Shettima’s image.

FIJ delved into the legality of Katsalla receiving government money in his account. Chapter 7, Section 713 of Nigeria’s Financial Regulations (2009) stipulates: “Personal money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government bank account, nor shall any public money be paid into a private account. Any officer who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intention.”

This regulation indicates that the State House’s transaction may be considered fraudulent under the law.

This incident is not isolated. FIJ previously reported a similar transaction where the vice president’s office paid N10 million to cover hotel accommodation for guests of Folashade Tinubu, the president’s daughter.

Earlier this year, President Bola Tinubu suspended Betta Edu, the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, over unauthorized payments from her office to several private accounts.

Edu is currently under investigation for transferring N585.2 million into the private bank account of an accountant responsible for grants for vulnerable Nigerians.

Ajuri Ngelale, the president’s spokesman, confirmed Edu’s suspension, highlighting Tinubu’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in managing the nation’s resources.

Lawrence Agbo, a tech journalist for over four years, excels in crafting SEO-driven content that boosts business success. He also serves as an AI tutor, sharing his knowledge to educate others. His work has been cited on Wikipedia and various online media platforms.