Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A group, Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPS), has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest, investigate and prosecute former the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, over the alleged misappropriation and misapplication of over N900 billion belonging to the state during the eight years he held sway as the Zamfara State governor.
The group, in the petition to the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Intelligence Financial Unit (NFIU), vowed to go to court to obtain an order of mandamus compelling the anti-graft agencies to investigate the former governor in line with the laws setting them up.
The group further stated that in the fight against corruption there should be no sacred cows, selective justice or favouritism, adding that Yari being a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and a close confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari should not be shielded from investigation and prosecution for what they allege to be the looting of Zamfara State.
In the petition dated June 30, 2020, sent to the EFCC, ICPC and NFIU and signed by PAPS Chairman, Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, the group alleged that the previous governor superintended over the most atrocious degree of looting of the state treasury since the creation of Zamfara State in 1996.
‘During the year 2015 to date the Zamfara State government has received the sum of N56,024,477,670.01 as intervention funds namely, salaries bailout, Excess Crude Account, Commercial Bank Restructured Loans from Debt Management Office (DMO) Abuja and Budget Support facility all from the federal government for the following purposes;
‘Conversion of commercial bank loan to FGN bond: this facility was facilitated by the DMO Abuja in converting the state and local government bank loans outstanding as at that time to the tune of N18,434,524,705.50 to the federal government bond which will ease the state to have a lower repayment of the loan or a longer period of time. The tenor of the loan is 19 years at 14.9 per cent.’
Shinkafi further revealed that ‘the immediate past state government receives N10 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for infrastructural projects across the state at 9 per cent per annum with 20 years tenor and the ECA was issued as collateral. The state government received N17,569,000,000.00 at 9 per cent with one-year moratorium and for a 10-year tenor through the CBN and N48,224,609,042.91 as Paris Fund refund.”
‘The state also received N37 billion as refunds for federal roads from the Federal Ministry of Works on the eve of the expiration of the tenure of the administration and the funds cannot be traced by the present administration.’
He further alleged that ‘the N600 billion received from the Federal Account Allocation Committee from May 29, 2011, to May 29, 2019, were all misappropriated without proper documentation, accountability, over-invoicing and siphoning of the said funds. The administration left over N57,996,730,718.30 as loans from Commercial Banks.
‘1019 undocumented vehicles were purchased at the cost of N5,544,358,300.14 between 2011 and 2019 through the office of the Secretary to the Government which cannot be accounted for. Over invoicing and inflation of contract sum for a hospital to the tune of N793,331,076.65. Over invoicing of Borehole contracts under the SDGs to the tune of N63,798,050.00, N7,003,647,960.00 was misappropriated through the school feeding while N1,688,125,000.00 was the sum of the inflated cost for the purchase of Golf Cars, tricycles and bicycles by the Zamfara Agency for Poverty Alleviation (ZAPA),’ he alleged.
Shinkafi further claimed that there was an inflation of the contract for the rehabilitation of the General Hospital Gusau to the tune of N129,492,053.09, inflation of the contract for the rehabilitation of Federal, State and local government roads to the tune of N60,575,231,468.97. He also diverted the sum of N10 billion obtained from the CBN under the guise of purchase of agrochemicals and agricultural commodities for boosting of agricultural production in Zamfara State.