From: Ali Abare, Gombe
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said investigation was still ongoing in the alleged mismanagement of N388m 2015 election campaign money involving staffers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), heads of some security agencies as well as officials at the Gombe State Government House.
Head of Operations, Gombe zonal office of the agency, Aminu Ado Aliyu, stated this in a chat with journalists, on Thursday.
Aliyu said that already, EFCC has prosecuted staff of INEC found wanting, with the agency recently inviting some head of security agencies to appear before the commission.
“Though a year has passed since the commencement of the case, investigation is still ongoing. Soon we will invite politicians involved in the case to determine their involvement,” he said.
He explained that the agency did not want to rush to the media while investigation was still ongoing in order not to preempt the outcome of the investigation.
“If you observed, we have been inviting some of the various security heads that were on ground during the elections,” Aminu Ado Aliyu said.
It would be recalled that the zonal office had, sometime last year, said it detained the Accountant of the Government House, Gombe, Mr. Mohammed Balbaya, over N388 million 2015 election campaign funds for the state which was allegedly intended to compromise the results in favour of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the Head of Public Affairs of the Commission’s zonal office in a press statement made available to journalists last year, Mr. Mohammed Balbaya was interrogated over his role in the N338million campaign fund sent to the state.
He said, Mr. Balbaya told investigators that he collected the sum in cash from an official of Fidelity bank in the state based on the directive of Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, the Director-General of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s re-election campaign organization during the 2015 election.
According to the investigation, Mr. Balbaya said he contacted the Permanent Secretary and Principal Private Secretary to the governor of the state, Dr.Sani Jauro who directed him to share the money to the beneficiaries. He however denied deriving personal benefit from the process.
The agency said though Mr. Balbaya did not disclose who the beneficiaries of the money were and the amount each individual or group collected from him, he however gave the EFCC useful information.
The agency’s head of operations said any public officials found wanting in the case would be prosecuted.