By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) has charged the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrashid Bawa, to work the talk and arrest and prosecute the former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, and all those mentioned in the petition over allegations of diversion of N37.4 billion Promissory Notes being the refund of the rehabilitation of Federal Government roads in Zamfara State.
The group stated that Bawa, during his Senate screening, had vowed to bring to book all corrupt officials without fear or favour, noting that it had written several petitions to the Commission without action from the EFCC.
In a statement in Abuja, the Executive Director of the group, Abdulahi Sani Shinkafi, charged the EFCC Chairman to make good his pledge while being screened by the Senate, noting that in spite of several petitions and the conclusion of investigations by the Sokoto Zonal office of the Commission, the former Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, refused to arraign the suspects even when a prima facie case was established against them.
He stated that the Commission had on Friday invited him to come forward and authenticate his petition before the EFCC which he said he has done, now leaving the Commission to do its part by inviting all those involved for investigation, interrogation and possible arraignment.
Specifically, Shinkafi had in a petition called on the EFCC to investigate the alleged fraudulent misappropriation and diversion of the N37.400,263,782:33 billion Promissory Notes belonging to Zamfara State as refund for federal roads projects executed by the state government.
Shinkafi stated “I hereby wish to forward a petition to the Commission for a thorough investigation and possible prosecution of the case of the fraudulent and criminal diversion of the N37,400,263,781 billion, being the promissory notes which were issued by the Federal Government through the Debt Management Office ((DMO).
“The said N37,400,263,781 is a refund of the Federal rehabilitated roads in Zamfara state, which was issued on December 28th, 2018 with Face Value N14,960,105,512:93, with a Maturity Date: 28th December, 2020 and the 1st April 2019, with a Face Value of Promissory Note: N22,440,158,269:00 Promissory Note Reference FGN /PN/2019/SG/21 with Maturity Date of 1st April 2022.”
Shinkafi pointed out that “the Promissory Notes were however discounted to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) by former Governor Abdulazeez Yari, ahead of the maturity dates, without the approval of the State Executive Council or the resolution of the Zamfara State House Of Assembly. The Zamfara State government lost billions of naira after the Promissory Notes were acquired at an undisclosed discounted rate.
“In his desperate bid to cash out the N37.400,263,781 bullion that has not matured, he terminated the deal by signing up undisclosed discounted rate percentage per annum. We call for the investigation and possible prosecution of the following people for their active roles in misappropriation of the Promissory Notes belonging to the good people of Zamafara State;
“Hon. Abdulazeez Yari, former Governor Of Zamafara State. Hon. Murktar Idris, former Commissioner Of Finance Zamafara State and former Director Of Finance, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Adamu Mohammed Ahmed, former Accountant General of Zamafara State, Abubakar Bello R/Doruwa, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Finance Zamfara State, Mrs Patience Oniha, Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Asiahana Bayo Okaurau, Director General of Nigeria Governors Forum, among others.
He noted that “the question for determination is why the hurry to cash out the money before the maturity dates? Former Governor Yari should explain what he did with the money he collected after making the state lose billions of naira as a discount.
“Why the DG and Staff Of the Nigerian Governors Forum Should collect the Promissory Notes on behalf of the Zamafara State government having not being staff of the state government. We hereby urge the Commission to invite the above mentioned persons for interrogation,investigation and prosecution” he added.
Shinkafi stated that “it is on record that we had been invited by the Ibrahim Magu led Commission to come forward to adopt our petition which we did, our petition was thoroughly investigated, some arrests were made but the Magu led Commission did not allow the prosecution of the suspects. We hope that the Bawa led Commission will do the needful and walk the talk by arresting and prosecuting all those found culpable in the wanton looting, diversion and money laundering of funds belonging to Zandas State”.