By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
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.
In a statement issued yesterday by chairman of PAPs, Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, the group also called on EFCC and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to arrest, investigate and prosecute the former Commissioner of Finance in Zamfara State, Idris Shehu Murktar, for the alleged diversion of the funds belonging to the State Government.
According to the statement, the N37.4billion was the refund from the Federal Government to Zamfara during the immediate past administration for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 14 federal roads in the State.
“According to our investigation which was supported by the Zamfara State Commissioner for Finance, 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 Governors Forum.
“Explaining how the notes were collected, the commissioner gave the breakdown of collection by an official of the then Nigerian Governors 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.
The statement further alleged that the immediate past Governor of the State, Abdulazeez Yari, who was also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum had allegedly via a letter to the Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, authorized that the Promissory Note be domiciled with a deposit money bank.
“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”.