How we used SURE-P funds for 2015 elections — ex-Governor’s aide

FILE PHOTO: Former Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laying the budget before National Assembly Lawmakers
FILE PHOTO: Former Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laying the budget before National Assembly Lawmakers

Nasiru Ingawa, a former special adviser on SURE-P to the former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, said on Wednesday that part of the State SURE-P funds were used for campaign for the 2015 election.

Mr. Ingawa disclosed this in Katsina during cross-examination before the Katsina State Judicial Commission of Inquiry chaired by Justice Muhammad Surajo.

Mr. Nasir told the commission that a total of N5.7 billion was withdrawn in cash and he was among the signatories to the SURE-P accounts during the period.

He said, “Shema used to tell me: ‘Nasiru, bring the money I approved for you in a memo to my house in the night, we are going to use it for politics.’”

According to him, the former governor made it clear that “All purchases in the department will be made directly and in cash without going through the tenders’ board”.

He said the former governor would instruct him to take the cash directly to the permanent secretary, Government House.

Mr. Ingawa told the commission that he had always warned the ex-governor against bypassing the tenders board.

He also explained that some of the SURE-P programmes were partially implemented while others were not implemented at all.

He cited an example of the empowerment programme in which cash was to be given to 200 indigents in each of the 34 local government areas of the state as one of those partially implemented programmes.

He, however, noted that the actual amount given to each person was N20,000.

“For the programmes that were partially implemented, half of the money went to the programme, while the remaining amount went to the governor,’’ Nasiru said.

Former Governor Shema could not be reached to comment for this story on Thursday morning. Several telephone calls to his known telephone number failed to connect.

The judicial commission was set up by Gov. Aminu Masari to investigate alleged misappropriation of SURE-P funds during the tenure of Mr. Shema.

The Chairman of the commission adjourned continuation of cross-examination until Aug. 25.

Ibrahim Shema
Ibrahim Shema

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had on February 13, 2012, established the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme [SURE-P] to ensure proper management of the funds that accrued to the Federal Government from the partial withdrawal of subsidy.

But the programme, which accumulated and disbursed several billions, was soon dogged by corruption, political manipulation and controversy.

As at November 2013, N800 billion had accumulated to the funds with 41 per cent of the funds kept by the federal government and 59 per cent going to states, local governments and the ecological fund.

The pioneer chairman of the 20-man steering committee of the Fund resigned in November 2013, citing advanced age at the time.

But he later opened up on a television programme, saying he resigned because the programme’s operations were becoming tainted with corruption and politics, thereby losing its credibility.

He said some officials of the Jonathan administration practised “something that was lower than the transparency”, expected of an interventionist agency like SURE-P.

He said he met resistance when he raised the issues as he was overruled by some powerful forces within the administration.

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  • adekenny

    Thank GOD for answering our prayers! Nigeria would have collapse by now had pdp won at the federal level!!!OH GOD direct this administration and guide it on the right path to the higher prosperity! Thank GOD for this change

    • ABUBAKAR NATAALA

      Amin, Amin,amin and all of us with positive minds.

      • Otile

        Don’t say amin, amin, amin, your amin is for nothing if mutane Najeriya continue to suffer untold hardship under Imam Mohamed Beuhari.

    • PolyGon2013

      A M E N !

    • tundemash

      And some, not yet recovered from their election loss, are asking if this is the change they voted for ? Atleast they now know how their destiny was looted; that is a change in itself compared with “stealing is not corruption” thesis they were fed and brainwashed with daily for 6 years !

      • Onike24

        But do you think they care? Most Nigerians actually support and will gladly participate in Corruption. Most see nothing wrong with corruption as long as they are direct beneficiaries; it is a huge tragedy, that those who continue to suffer from the effects of corruption are the very people that support it? It is almost unbelivable

        • Otile

          Musilima,
          Don’t speak in vague terms. Say what you want to say, but don’t tell me that nepotism is not corruption. E gbo?

      • Otile

        Abubakar tundemash,
        Why are you saying that nepotism is not corruption? See what the nepotistic corruption of 18 moons has done to omo Naijiria.

        • tundemash

          We know you haven’t recovered from teh election loss and may you not recover forever !

  • Rommel

    I am happy that events are unraveling for all to see how well these people meant for the citizenry,even now,I am certain that some of these elected people are busy scheming their own but until we begin to stone elected officials as Rotimi Amaechi has advocated repeatedly,nothing will change

    • Ed Noble

      @disqus_MSz5KF4VNF:disqus:

      SOONER OR LATER GOODLUCK JONATHAN WILL BE ARRESTED TO ANSWER FOR FINANCIAL CRIMES.

  • Karakanda

    There would be more revealations and confessions when the Judicial Commision gets to SUBEB, MDG, Ministry for Local Government, Women Affairs and the Department of Girl Child Education.
    Katsina was brazenly and mercilessly raped in broad day light !

    • Kallah Bature

      From the looks of things there seems to be more corruption in the states than the centre.Only one individual stashing away more than N10b of money belonging to the poor people of a rural state like Katsina.Kudos to the present Governor.Please collect back what belongs to the people and God will reward you for being on the side of the masses

  • Wetin Naija

    Yeye dey smile. Jonathan’s administration was a jamboree of thieves and criminals.

    • Apostel

      And these idiots from the south celebrate this drunken bastard Jonathan even today

      • Man_Enough

        crime is their custom, culture and tradition.

  • Paul Young

    PDPigs and stealing, just like bread and butter

  • IG

    I am 100% tired of reading lootings of billions of our treasury and nobody has being sent to jail for almost 2years since this government emerge. For me I am a die hard fan of Buhari but reading all these crazy stealing on the front of paper every minute without a single conviction of any of the accused person is alerming,shameful and disgusting to me

    • Comfortkay

      Bros mi our politicians are not the only looters, the Nigerian lawyers, our SAN are as well looters, they are doing everything possible to stop this thieves from going to jail, try and understand that.

    • Sincere-Voice

      Jailing these demons are no easy thing. And if buhari go about it in a hard way now, people would rant that he is not following due process. But I believe that things has changed.