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Published On: Tue, Jul 7th, 2020

Katsina govt denies embezzling N40bn security votes

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From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

Katsina state government has debunked the alleged misappropriation of N40 billion in the last five years of the administration, describing it as frivolous and unfounded.
It also stated that there was no iota of truth that it diverted more than N24 billion from state’s security escrow account into accounts of some political office holders in the state.
It would be recalled that, one Mahdi Shehu, a business man had in a radio live programme last week, alleged that N24 billion state security funds was diverted under Governor Aminu Masari’s watch from 2015 to 2019.
Shehu, who is also an activist had in a subsequent interview, had in addition alleged that over N40 billion was diverted in shoddy circumstances during same period.
He said N49 million was spent on phones for the state executive council members, while hundreds of millions were diverted into accounts of public office holders.
Mustapha Mohammed Inuwa, the state Secretary to the Government of the State speaking during a world press conference on Monday, said the person who made the allegations didn’t base same on facts on ground.
Inuwa said the entire monies that accrued to the state security escrow account from 2015 to date was a little over N6 billion and not up to N24 billion as being alleged by Shehu.
According to him, a little over N2 million was expended to buy phones for the state executive council members to ensure they could be reached at any time their attention was needed.
He said much of the monies that comes from the federation account goes into salaries and pensions payment, with little left for infrastructural and related projects.
Inuwa said monies expended since the inception of the Masari-led administration are duly accounted for and that documents that prove same were available for interested persons to peruse.
He warned that the state government would seek redress over the allegations, even as he assured people in the state of government’s commitment to the transparent use of public resources.
“The allegation that the state government embezzled more than N40 billion, with hundreds of millions credited into accounts of public office holders is frivolous and unfounded”.
“The entire money that came into the state security escrow account since we came into office is N6.4 billion, so how can somebody say that we embezzled N24 billion from same account?”
“When you deduct monies paid as salaries and pensions, along other expenditures, what usually remains is not more than N200 million or thereabouts. Where or how was N40 billion diverted in such case?
“We promised to expend public monies in a transparent manner, and the details of what goes in and out of government coffers is there for all to see”.
“We intend to seek redress in court, and some of the public office holders including Senator Bello Mandiya, has denied the alleged monies diverted into his account.”

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