Anti-graft Group Asks EFCC to Prosecute Yari for N900bn Misappropriation

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Tobi Soniyi

The Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPS) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate a former governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari for alleged misappropriation and misapplication of over N900 billion belonging to the state during his eight-year administration.

The group, in a petition addressed to the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Intelligence Financial Unit (NFIU) said it would go to court to obtain an order to compel the anti-graft agencies to investigate the former governor if necessary.

The group said in the fight against corruption, there should be no sacred cow, selective justice and favouritism and that Yari being a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and close confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari should not be shielded from investigation and prosecution for the looting of Zamfara State.

It added that it was on record that such former governors as Joshua Dariye, Jolly Nyame and just recently Orji Uzor Kalu and other former governors from the opposition parties are either being investigated or prosecuted for corruption.

In the petition dated June 30 and signed by PAPS Chairman, Alhaji Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, the group alleged that Yari superintended over the most atrocious and highest degree of primitive looting of the state treasury since the creation of Zamfara State in 1996.

It claimed that the interim reports of the state’s project verification committee, transition committee report, local government project committee report made chilling, startling and significant disclosures to this effect.

“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) and Budget Support facility, all from the federal government.

He alleged that the state government under Yari “received N10 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for infrastructural projects across the state at 9 percent per annum with 20 years tenor and the ECA was issued as collateral.

“The state government received N17,569,000,000.00 at 9 percent with one year moratorium and for a ten year tenor through the Central Bank of Nigeria 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 Yari administration and the funds cannot be traced by the present administration.”

He also alleged that the N600 billion “received from the Federal Account Allocation Committee from May 29, 2011 to May 29, 019 were all misappropriated without proper documentation, accountability, over invoicing and siphoning of the said funds.”

He said the Yari administration “left over N57, 996,730,718 as loans from commercial banks. 1019 undocumented vehicles were purchased at the cost of N5, 544,358,300 between 2011 and 2019 through the office of the secretary to the state government which cannot be accounted for.”

He also alleged that contracts were inflated while Yari was in office as governor citing the Yariman Babura Specialist Hospital project and Borehole contracts under the Sustainable Development Goals.

Shinkafi alleged that there was an inflation of the contracts for the rehabilitation of the General Hospital Gusau and for the rehabilitation of federal, state and local government roads.

He also alleged that the sum of N10 billion obtained from the CBN under the guise of purchasing agro-chemicals and agricultural commodities for boosting agricultural production in Zamfara State was not properly accounted for.

The PAPs Chairman noted that “there is also the issue of the fraudulent payment of N150,000,000.00 to Flamingo Resources as consultancy services to negotiate a loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank for Daza Housing Project.

He also asked the EFCC to investigate how N1,995,000,000.00 from the N2 billion loan from the federal government to Small and Medium Enterprises was spent. The governor has yet to respond to the allegations.