From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
The Zamfara State government has exonerated the State Deputy Governor, Barrister Mahdi Aliyu Gusau from allegation of collecting illegal salary payments from the state treasury as publicized by social media.
At a press conference on Saturday, the State Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Rabi’u Garba Gusau said, the Deputy Governor has no hand in the nasty act, as investigation by the Ministry of Finance had proved that some unpatriotic staffers were fully involved.
“In the course of our investigation which was aimed at sanitizing the management of our state treasury, we discovered that, some bad eggs amongst our directors of finance have for long embarked upon illegal insertions of fake names into the state government’s payroll.
“This time around, they used the name of the Deputy Governor thinking that, it would be too big and difficult for a commissioner to continue findings for the facts into the long corrupt practices that bedeviled the system of the state salary payments.
“I accosted the Deputy Governor on whether he was aware of the development but, he replied that he heard it for the first time, and he had never known somebody was fraudulently using his name for the collection of illegal salary payments”, the Commissioner explained.
He further said, his ministry has also discovered and suspended salary payments for a sister to the former Commissioner of Finance and a gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC in the 2019 elections, Mukhtar Shehu Idris, and an 119 years old civil servant who had been on the payroll for years.
The Commissioner further revealed that, the filthy exercise was more at the state Health Service Management Board (HSMB) where investigation has it that, the suspended directors of finance were fraudulently selling out fake offers of employment at the cost of N250,000 to innocent job seekers.
“We are prosecuting all the suspected unpatriotic staffers involved to court immediately after the ongoing investigation is concluded for them to refund all the stolen monies from the state treasury,” the Commissioner threatened.
It would be recalled that, the ministry had detected and identified an illegal deductions, other financial malpractices as well of over N216 million from the salaries which involved 4,972 civil servants on the state’s payroll system.