- A group of civil society organisations has urged the EFCC to investigate a former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulazizi Yari
- The coalition made the demand from the anti-graft agency on Sunday, February 28, in Lagos
- Yari was alleged to have misappropriated N22.5billion while he was the governor of the state
The coalition of civil society organisations has appealed to the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to start an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of N22.5billion by the former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari.
Legit.ng reports that the coalition which comprises 16 frontline civil society organisations at a press conference held in Lagos on Sunday, February 28, alleged that a monumental fraud was perpetrated by the former governor between 2011 and 2019.
The group, in a statement signed by the executive director, Centre for Public Accountability, Comrade Olufemi Lawson, on behalf of the coalition, said that it has facts on how the money meant for projects and developments of Zamfara state was illegally diverted when Yari was the governor.
Lawanson said the coalition is not happy about the level of insecurity in the northwest, especially in Zamfara state, adding that it is sad that the issue is now becoming a threat to every Nigerian.
The group, however, noted that it would not fold our arms while some elected public officials elected to serve the people continue to deprive the electorate of the basic needs because of their irresponsibility.
Speaking on why its searchlight is focused on Zamfara, the coalition emphasised that the high rate of banditry in the state triggered its interest in the state, noting that its findings indicated that the issue of banditry arose because of the lackluster performance of the successive administrations in the state.
It added that banditry became worse during the regime of the former governor Yari that he had to relocate from the state to Abuja, thereby abandoning Zamfara citizens to their fate.
The statement read:
"You will also recall, that it was widely reported recently that Mr. Yari was invited and grilled by the EFCC for several hours over alleged criminal diversion of the state funds while in office. Our findings based on another document have shown how another N22.5bn was diverted from the coffers of the state which is now in the public domain.
"It’s pertinent to note that the N22.5bn in question was part of the refund from federal government being money expended on federal roads in Zamfara state. If this humongous amount has been plowed back into the state, it’s capable of boosting the economy and create opportunities to the teeming masses of our people in Zamfara state who are at the receiving end of bad governance over the years and now the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already bad situation."
The group stressed that there’s general feeling in Gusau, the state capital that the probe of Yari and the recent discovery of humongous amount diverted at the twilight of his administration is responsible for the onslaught in the media against the current governor.
"The reason why Kidnapping, Armed Robbery and banditry have continued to fester, is because of this wanton looting of the state by some of the governors who cared less about the security and the welfare of our people as enshrined in the constitution.
"We, therefore, want the EFCC, ICPC and other relevant agencies to conclude its probe of the former governor Yari as soon as possible so that he will have his days in court. This is the only way to restore our dignity that hard work pays as opposed to the level of corruption which we are witnessing now. It will also serve as a deterrent to those who may want to toe such an ignoble path now or in the nearest future."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that suspected gunmen kidnapped some students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara local government area of Zamfara state.
It was reported that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday, February 26.
According to the report, a resident of Kawaye village identified as Sadi Kawaye said that his daughters, Mansura and Sakina were among those abducted.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.