Ex-Governor Yari govt under probe for N200b ‘fraud’

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More than 60 cases involving over N200 billion under the administration of former Zamafara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari are being investigated, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said on Monday.

The Commission’s Zonal Head of Operations, Mr Abdullahi Lawal, spoke in Sokoto while handing over 53 tricycles recovered from a contractor to the Zamafara State government.

The Zone comprises Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states.

Lawal said the cases ranging from individuals, public and private corporate organisations, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) were part of over 200 petitions received in the zone.

According to him, the commission had frozen all bank accounts linked to the fraudulent activities in the course of investigation.

He said: “The commission is carrying out a clinical investigation into the activities of the last administration and we are assuring you and Zamafara State government that we will not relent on our oars in prosecuting anyone found culpable.”

The tricycles were handed over to the Secretary to the Zamfara State Government (SSG), Alhaji Bala Bello Maru.

He explained that the recovery was part of the anti-graft agency’s painstaking and diligent investigation that led to the handover of the Keke NAPEP.

The Zonal Head, however, warned that contractors who have collected full or part payments and yet to commence, complete and or handover projects should mobilise to site in own interest.

“The commission will pretty soon embark on aggressive monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with experts from FMWH and COREN to ensure jobs are qualitative and completed within time and according specification,” Lawal stressed.

He further appealed to the public for their cooperation by not hesitating to give vital information on corrupt practices in MDAs, private sectors as well by public officials, especially those living above their means.

Reminding the public that the whistle blower policy is still in place, Lawal stressed: “The Federal Government is determined to ‘kill’ the monster called corruption in its entirety.”

He urged the Zamfara government to distribute the recovered tricycles to beneficiaries and ensure they were used judiciously as this would go a long way to reduce the spate of poverty in the state.

Maru commended the anti-graft agency for its spirit of resilience towards fighting corruption and for making efforts to ensure such recoveries for the state, especially on projects not executed by contractors.

The SSG said: “We appreciate the efforts of the Zonal Office and the agency as whole for demonstrating commitment to course, which is an achievement for us in Zamfara state and Nigeria.”

Maru renewed the readiness of the state government to support and collaborate with the agency for more recoveries, promising to support the cardinal mandate of EFCC.

He added: “We will forward the list of beneficiaries, contact and all necessary details for the record of EFCC and we will invite you to the distribution ceremony.”

According to him, evidences have been established on the over N200 billion worth of cases under EFCC investigation.

Describing the recovery of the tricycles as symbolic, Maru added: “Billions have been recovered and a lot are being expected.

“But, going by the petitions before the state government, it is about N2 trillion. Even the social media report is N900 billion. But, that is not the case; we are working with official record of investigation which is N200 billion.”

“The recoveries would surely support the state government’s drive against poverty and as well add value to its economy. It will also empower individuals by uplifting their socio-economic status.”

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