Group to EFCC: Probe Yari over N47bn missing funds in Zamfara

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A non-governmental organization, Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Justice, PAPS, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the alleged misappropriation of over N47 billion by a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.

The group, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Sani Shinkafi, on Sunday, in Abuja, urged the anti-graft agency to investigate the said fund, being Federal Government refund to the state for the repair of federal roads, procurement of fertilizers and other Agro-Allied products by the Yari-administration.

According to the group, N37.4 billion was reimbursed for the rehabilitation of federal roads, while N10 billion was for supply of fertilizers, Agro-chemicals, allied products and grains by two companies.

They also called for an investigation of the two companies awarded the contracts for the supply of fertilizers and other agro allied products who ended up not supplying the products.

It further noted that the state’s Project Verification Committee set up by Governor Bello Matawalle, in its interim report dated February 2020, indicated that the state government received N10 billion from the federal government and lost the same amount for no justiciable cause.

The statement read: “It is discovered that in February, 2019 the previous administration secured a loan of N10 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“N5 billion was meant for the supply of Afro-Chemicals that includes pesticides, herbicides and other accessories while the other N5 billion was for the purchase of grains and other agricultural commodities.

“The contracts were awarded to two companies. One was to supply Afro-chemicals while the other was to supply grains worth N5 billion.

“The Committee discovered that the loans were dubiously obtained from the CBN with no official records to specify 100 per cent of the entire dealings, the violations of loans securing and contracts awards have not been optimally followed,” he added.

“The federal government gave Zamfara State N5 billion for the purchase of fertilizer and procurement of agricultural inputs through the Zamfara State Commodity Marketing and Distribution Board, ZASCO.

“The amount was credited to ZASCO through its account domiciled with a new generation bank.

“The money is for boosting agricultural production, but it was never used as the whole amount was transferred to another account with a view to supplying fertilizer to the state.

“This transaction was done in five trances of N1 billion on February 6, 2019 as directed by a Permanent Secretary possibly to circumvent certain banking provisions.

“The Company is a Bureau the Change Organisation not registered for procurement of agricultural commodities or input but in hard currencies.

“The committee further discovered that all payments were done in three days in 2019 at the heat of a party primary crisis.

“The sum of N5 billion was paid into the account of the board from the CBN after the board received directives from a Permanent Secretary to reactivate its dormant which hopefully has not been covered by the Treasury Single Account, TSA.

“The Board’s dormant account was reactivated with an opening balance of N15,055.50. On the same date, the sum of N285,000 was deposited into the account.

“The committee recommended that the two companies should refund the N5 billion each in addition to any legal measures deemed appropriate by the EFCC for taking an illegal shoddy deal to recover the amounts involved in purported contracts awarded.”

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