Paul Omokuvie, Bauchi
The Funds and Assets Recovery Committee set up by the Governor of Bauchi State Senator Bala Mohammed has alleged that ex governor Mohammed Abubakar had sold to himself seven posh vehicles belonging to the Bauchi State Government.
The committee headed by Senator Hamman Misau stated that the former governor’s action violated the provisions of Bauchi State Budget Monitoring, Price Intelligence and Public Procurement Law (BMPIPP, 2008) for the disposal of government assets and properties.
This was revealed Wednesday night at a press briefing in Government House, Bauchi
Reading from report made available to Daily Sun, Alhaji Umar Barau Ningi, the Public Relations Officer I of the committee, listed the vehicles to include a Land Cruiser Armoured Jeep, with Chassis No. JTMHX09J9F4089580 auctioned at the cost of N7.8 million and a Land Cruiser V8, with Chassis No. JTMHX09J8D4050814 sold at the cost N2. 8 million.
Others, the committee disclosed, include a Toyota Hilux, with Chassis No. MROFX22G2F1436641sold at the cost of N1 million Range Rover (Jeep), with Chassis No. SALWA2VF3EA366819 sold at the cost of N2.9 million, Range Rover (Jeep), with Chassis No. SALLSAAD4DA800170 sold at the cost of N2.1 million and a Range Rover (Jeep), with Chassis No. SALLSAAD4DA81373 sold at the cost of N2.1 million.
The committee, Ningi stated, would be civil in dealing with the governor and any official indicted by giving them the opportunity to defend themselves before setting up a mechanism to recover all stolen funds and assets and invoking the laws to prosecute them.
According to the committee, 30 expensive vehicles allocated to former Governor Mohammed’s political appointees and public office holders that had left office were found not to have been returned.
“The Committee has already recovered 15 of such vehicles and, is on the trail of the remaining fifteen (15) with a view to recovering and returning them to government pool. In the same vein, the Committee has taken steps to recover the vehicles that the former governor arbitrarily sold to himself,” Ningi stated.
The government spokesman said the committee also discovered that, in violation of his Oath of Office, the ex governor initiated a transaction and sold to himself a house with Certificate of Occupancy No. BA/40245, located adjacent to Wikki Hotel, belonging to the Bauchi State Government, at a highly subsidised rate.
“This also, in gross violation of the BAUCHI STATE BUDGET MONITORING, PRICE INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAW (BMPIPP 2008), for the disposal of government assets and/or properties.
“Section 55, Subsection 4 & 5 states inter alia: ‘All procuring entities shall distribute responsibilities for the disposal of public property between procurement units and Tenders Board;’ and ‘A report of the findings… shall be forwarded to the Executive Council for appropriate directive.” Similarly, PART XI – Section 56, Subsection 6(f) stipulates, ‘Avoiding all situations likely to render an officer vulnerable to embarrassment or undue influence.’
“All these provisions were found to have been violated. Above all, the disposing entity, Bauchi Geographic Information Service (BAGIS) is not backed by any law, as the Bill that established the Agency in 2017 is yet to be signed into law. It follows therefore that, whatever business the Agency transacted, and with whomsoever – individuals or organisations, is illegal, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.
“The Committee considers as morally reprehensible for a sitting governor to apply for the purchase of a government property and approved same for himself, placing his individual interest abovepublic interest,” the text read in part.
Ningi stated that the Committee was also able to trace about 15 properties in Kaduna State which belong to Bauchi State Government, with their Certificates of Occupancy and ground rents paid up to year 2017.
“However, the Committee noticed a lot of trespass and encroachment on the properties due to neglect, but legal machineries have been set to evict the trespassers,” Ningi said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the former governor failed as calls made to his former Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Ali Mohammed Ali, were not returned at the time of filing this report.
A text message sent to him for the reaction of his principal was also not replied.