By Emmanuel Udom
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on anti-corruption agencies to immediately commence necessary investigation of former governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari for alleged unlawful diversion of a whooping sum of N37.4 billion naira, being a refund from the federal government for the funds used by the former administration in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 14 federal roads in the state.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, CACOL’s Acting Director of Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, he stated, “It would be recalled that the state commissioner of finance Hon Rabi’u Garba Gusau who exposed the alleged fraud at a press briefing, said the initial cost of the project submitted to the federal government was 47.3 billion naira, but after assessment and cost evaluation, the amount due was pegged at N37.4 billion naira. Alhaji Garba alleged that the immediate past administration might have misappropriated the money.
He explained that the people of the state who are the legal owners of the fund were fully aware of the refund still awaiting payment by the federal government, but as at the time of change of government from the previous administration, the issue was not reflected in the handing over document.
The anti-corruption czar noted that “It is despicable that some state’s chief executives run the affairs of their states with flagrant abuse of the confidence reposed in them by the electorates.
The amount in question can conveniently and comfortably provide some basic amenities for the people of the state, it can also be used to advance the literacy and educational attainment goal in the state as the state is currently one of the educationally less developed states in Nigeria, if judiciously utilized, the money would have positively affected the lives of the generality of the people of the state”.
The anti-graft czar added, “It is in light of this revealing allegation that we (CACOL) commend the Zamfara State government for coming out with this revelation. We hope this allegation will not be seen as an opportunity to settle political scores and that political solution will not be sought by either party in a bid to foreclose the investigation of the allegation.
We therefore call on the anti-corruption agencies to take this case up and carry out diligent and meticulous investigation in order to bring all known culprits to book by recovering all the alleged misappropriated funds, while making them to face the full wrath of the law to serve as necessary deterrent”