From Okwe Obi, Abuja

A group, Cross River Young Women in Politics (CRYWIP), has told President Bola Tinubu to suspend the Minister of State for Defense, Bello Matawalle, just as it did to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, over corruption allegation.

President Tinubu had suspended Edu for allegedly transferring N583 million into a private account which was against the civil service rule.

Meanwhile, Matawalle, a former governor of Zamfara State had been accused of laundering about N50 billion which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had promised to investigate and has not been shown the way.

The CRYWIP President, Iniobong Rita Umana, in a statement yesterday, charged the president to suspend Matawalle pending the outcome of the probe by the EFCC.

She said: “The Cross River Young Women in Politics assert our collective demand for justice and equity within the political sphere.

“We express profound concern regarding the discernible bias in dispensing justice and the evident gender disparities prevailing in Nigeria’s political landscape.

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“While we commend the expeditious actions taken against Dr. Betta Edu, our esteemed mentor, in response to allegations totaling N583 million, we are confounded by the continued tenure of Bello Matawalle, facing staggering money laundering allegations exceeding N70 billion, without undergoing the requisite investigations.

“This glaring inconsistency raises fundamental questions about the principles of impartiality and justice that should be the bedrock of our nation.

“We urgently call upon President Bola Tinubu to, forthwith, suspend Matawalle as Minister, and we unequivocally demand the EFCC to re-initiate investigation into the grave allegations against him.

“The disconcerting reality is that our daughter faces repercussions for a comparatively trivial sum, while Matawalle enjoys unhindered freedom, despite facing monumental accusations. This exposes a disturbing pattern of gender bias and selective application of justice against women actively engaged in politics.

“In response, we declare our intention to march from this location to formally submit a petition, emphasising our insistence on equal treatment before the law.  We grant the EFCC a stringent two-week ultimatum to recommence investigations into Matawalle’s alleged money laundering activities. Failure to comply will prompt us to rally our counterparts in the South South states, orchestrating a peaceful yet substantial protest at all EFCC offices within the region.

“We ardently believe that the standards of justice and fairness applied to the southern part of Nigeria must be equally applicable to the North.  The time has come for our nation to transcend the shackles of sentiment-driven politics, ushering in an era where justice is impartial, and equality prevails.”