From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
The Zamfara State Project Verification Committee set up by Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle has submitted an interim report to the Governor indicting former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of the diversion of over N90 billion in the last eight years of his administration.
Chairman of the committee, Ahmad Abubakar Zabarma, who indicted former Governor Yari of siphoning the state’s resources, has recommended that, Governor Matawalle should immediately setup a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to grill the former Governor and all those involved in the scam before it, so that the alleged stolen funds can be recovered.
Giving a sectorial breakdown of the gross misconducts perpetrated in the immediate past administration, Zabarma said even members of the State House of Assembly were culpable as they assisted in the disappearance of the diverted funds.
“Amongst the prominent was the bailout fund been released to States by President Muhammadu Buhari out of which Zamfara State received the Sum of 17 Billion Naira which just vanished without any verifiable trace.
“Under the administrative sector, the sum of N12.5 billion, Economic sector N64.4 billion, Environmental, N13 billion and Social sector, N254 million totaling over N90.3 billion were discovered as over invoicing by contractors, government officials, consultants and beneficiaries should be refunded to the state government.
“Even though, staffs of the State Ministry of Finance who are suspected to be complicit in the scam refused to cooperate with the verification committee especially in the release of backup expenditure document.
“The committee was able to discover how the sum of five billion naira commodity marketing and distribution board money which was released to the state as a federal government loan through the CBN for the purchase of agriculture commodities disappeared through a reactivated Ministry of Finance dormant account not captured by the TSA within a span of three days and channeled to the account of Danbazau Global Investment Company,” the Committee revealed.
Responding, Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle, who commended the work of the committee, said it was set up to verify handing over and taking over of projects and expenditure which is normal in any government.
He said the state government will look into the submission and recommendations and take appropriate action without fear or favour on whoever is found wanting no matter how highly placed such person may be.