By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) demanding the investigation of the misappropriation and diversion of the N499 million meant for the purchase of fertilizers by the former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari.
The group in a petition to the Chairman of the Commission, through the Sokoto Zonal Office of EFCC, demanded that the Commission should invite, investigate and possibly prosecute the former Governor Yari and the Managing Director Zamfara Agricultural Supply Company Limited for illegal withdrawals, misappropriation of funds belonging to the Zamfara State Government.
The Executive Director of PAPSD, Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, in the petition alleged that “the fertilizer Dealers Associations in Zamfara State deposited the sum of Three Hundred and Seventy Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N370,800,000) only, which is equivalent to the value of 103 trucks and 278 bags of fertilizer into Zamfara State Agricultural Supply Company Limited Fertilizer Sales Account domiciled in a commercial bank in Gusau.
The petition which provided the account number and the bank name in Gusau branch said, “The money deposited is for the payment of allocation of 103 trucks and 278 bags of fertilizer for the 2019 wet farming season up to the end of second tenure of the former Governor, Hon. Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari.
“The fertilizer allocated to the beneficiaries was not released and the funds were not returned to them for the past two (2) years. After several complaints to the authority, it has been revealed that the money is no more in the bank account, as deposited into Zamfara State Agricultural Supply Company Limited Fertilizer Sales Account.
Shinkafi said, “we hereby urge the commission to do a discreet investigation on illegal withdrawal and misappropriation of funds during the transitional period at the tail end of Hon. Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari administration.
“Find below the breakdown of how the misappropriated fertilizer funds were illegally withdrawn few days to the expiration of Hon. Abdulaziz Abubakar Yariadministration.
“Bank Account Debit Advice Details
S/No. Date/Amount 1., 20-May-2019 (N170,000,000.00k), 2. 20-May-2019 (N130,000,000.00k), 3. 21-May-2019 (N63,000,000.00k), 4. 23-May-2019 (N136,000,000.00k), Total, (N499,000,000.00K).”
The group also attached documents, including report of the Committee on Genuity and screening of 103 trucks for 2019 wet season, list of the beneficiary farmers that paid but not lifted their fertilizer, payment official receipts & Bank tellers deposit slip, among others to petition to EFCC for examination and scrutiny.
Shinkafi added “In the light of the above, we urge the commission to investigate our petition. Any person found wanting should face the full wrath of the law and justice.”