The Patriots for Good Governance and Social Development (PAPS) has called on the Acting Chairman Of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] to arrest and investigate the Director General Of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) over the diversion of the N37.4 billion belonging to the Zamfara State government.
The group also called on the Acting Chairman Of the EFCC and the Inspector General of Police to arrest and possibly investigate and prosecute the Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and the former Commissioner of Finance Zamfara State who is also the Director of Finance of the NGF Murktar Shehu Idris for alleged diversion of funds belonging to the State Government.
The N37.4billion was the refund from the Federal Government to the Zamfara State under the immediate past Administration for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 14 Federal Roads in the State.
The Chairman Of PAPs Alhaji (Dr) Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi stated that “according to our investigations which was supported by the Zamfara State Commissioner for Finance Zamfara State Alhaji Rabi’u Garba who stated that only Promissory notes were collected on behalf of the previous administration by the then Director-General of the Nigerian Governor’s forum.
“Explaining how the notes were collected, the commissioner gave the breakdown of collection by an official of the then Nigerian Governor’s Forum who was the first to collect the promissory notes of over N14.9 billion.
The second promissory notes amounting to N22 billion was later collected by the then DG of the Nigerian Governors Forum.
He lamented that the collection of the notes were without proper documentation when the previous administration handed over to the government of Governor Bello Matawalle.
In a letter seeking payment and explanation on the N37billion to both the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Debt Management Office (DMO), the said amount was said to have been fully reimbursed to the state.
Shinkafi noted “Specifically, the immediate past Governor of Zamfara State Abdulazeez Yari who was also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum had via a letter to the Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, dated December 28th, 2018 authorized that the Promissory Note be domiciled with the United Bank for Africa [UBA] PLC.
“He further authorized the DG of the Nigerian Governors Forum or any other official of the NGF so authorized by the DG NGF to collect the Promissory Note on behalf of Zamfara State. The said N37.4 Billion was collected, concealed and diverted to an unknown account as it was not captured in the handover notes of the past administration neither was it captured in the report of the transition Committee.
Shinkafi said “the question for the determination is whether the Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum is the Commissioner of Finance Zamfara State, the Permanent Secretary Zamfara State Ministry of Finance, the Accountant General of Zamfara State, Director Debt Management or the Director Central Account Zamfara State or the Sub Treasurer of Zamfara State.
“We hereby demand the immediate arrest of the Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Murktar Idris the Director of Finance of the Nigerian Governors Forum who was also the Zamfara State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress [APC] in the last gubernatorial elections by the appropriate anti-corruption agencies and the Inspector-General of Police for criminally diverting the funds belonging to Zamfara State Government.
He pointed out that “the incessant attacks on the State by the unrepentant bandits are parts of plans to divert the attention of the government and good people of Zamfara State on the discovery of the looting and siphoning of the N37.4 Billion which the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing refunded to the Zamfara State Government for the rehabilitation of Federal Roads in the State.
“We call on the Acting Chairman of the EFCC and the Inspector-General of Police to as a matter of urgency investigate the diversion of the N37.4 billion belonging to the government and people of Zamfara State” he added.