Sokoto govt reacts as kingmaker is quizzed over N700 million suspicious transaction

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

The Sokoto State government has denied wrongdoing after federal anti-graft agents questioned a member of the Sokoto traditional council, the Sultanate, over a suspicious N700 million transferred to his account by the state government.

Kabiru Tafida, the Sarkin Fada of Sokoto, who also acts as the chief of staff to Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad, was grilled by detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday and Wednesday over the transfer.

He was released on administrative bail Wednesday evening following what a source described as “unceasing pressure on the EFCC by the Sultan and the Sokoto State government”.

Mr. Tafida was first invited to the EFCC office in Abuja on Tuesday where he was interrogated by a team of investigators. He was then asked to return on Wednesday for more questioning.

One source said the money in question was taken from the Sokoto State’s share of the Paris club refund recently made to Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, but PREMIUM TIMES is unable to independently verify that claim.
But we were able to clearly determine that at least N700 million was recently transferred from the Sokoto State government account to Mr. Tafida.
The kingmaker is not known to have offered any service to the government, investigators said, adding, “the suspect has also been receiving huge funds from the government of Sokoto on behalf of the Sultan.”

The spokesperson to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Imam Imam, said in a statement Thursday that the funds were approved for the purchase of a “befitting” office and guest house for the Sultanate council in Abuja.

Mr. Imam said all laid down procedures were followed in the process of the acquisitions. He said the amount was passed by the state House of Assembly.

“Furthermore, the Sokoto State Executive Council, the highest decision-making body in the state, via a resolution of the EXCO with number CC (2016) 5R of Wednesday, December 28, 2016, approved the purchase of the office and residential accommodation in Abuja,” he said.

Mr. Imam said following the approval, the office of the Secretary of State Government received three offers from different Estate Developers “which were vetted and assessed by the Ministry of Works and the State Due Process Office”.

“Following adherence to laid down procedure, the process of acquiring the property was set in motion upon which some elements are now trying to make political capital out of it,” he said.

Documents attached to Mr. Imam’s statement show that three firms, Fawad Nigeria Ltd, Efab Properties, Ltd and Korpic Limited were made available to the government Houses in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja.

The document shows that the House provided by Fawad Nig. Ltd. Located at No. 16, Ontario Crescent off Mississippi Street, Maitama, was selected following a certificate of no objection granted by the Due Process Office on December 23, 2016.

Approval was then given for the purchase of the House at N659 million.

The document also said the office of SSG as well as Justice and Finance Ministries were directed “to take action”.

However, the documents did not indicate whether the firm in question was owned by the Mr. Tafida which may have raised the suspicion by investigators as to why the money was transferred to his personal account and not that of Fawad Nig. Ltd.


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  • George

    May God forbid any Southerners render such excuses.

    • Eluba Inas

      They don’t even need to as their kinsmen will rush to their defense. It is a sick country.

  • Justice Equity

    A whooping 700m to buy a house in abuja for a sultan that his palace is in sokoto,is he buying presidential palace?, this is why I want this nation restructured so that these guys will generate their own resources to run their immoral wastes.

  • Tosho

    I’ve been wondering what is the difference between this issue and that of former PDP national Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh who has been in court since 2016, his passport seized despite his scheduled surgery abroad for having the sum of N400million approved by the former President paid to a corporate account where he is signatory, for a special assignment after all due process has been adopted by the office of the National Security Adviser. If Metuh is in court and his passport seized, why is the case of Tafida now being different. Why was Metuh not giving administrative bail like Tafida? Why is Tafida not in court? Perhaps the answer has to do with which side of the political or tribal or religious divide they come from.

  • dan

    According to the report and defense by the Sokoto state government, the money was not paid to the personal account of Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad’s chief of staff, but to a corporate account that he is a signatory to. Why wasn’t the money paid directly to the estate company? Corruption everywhere in this country. The case is even already dead as the EFCC have been cowed to release Kabiru Tafida by forces from above. This is the last we will hear of it.

  • AryLoyds

    Mr. Imam said all laid down procedures were followed . Case closed .
    His Royal highness has spoken , and the paris club slush fund must be shared to west the hands of the sultan himself.

  • Charles

    this how the oil money is spent, if this money is generated in this state will it be spent this way?

  • Nkem

    I have always said that this Tambwal guy is a first class crook. He was a crook before he became speaker; a crook while he presideded over the house; crook while he will be in Sokoto government house for God knows how many years. He will continue to be a crook whichever office has the misfortune of hosting him in future. Crook, crook, crook all the way.

    • Gary

      But it is the same crook who has been shortlisted to succeed Buhari to complete the allotted two-terms Presidency to the North. Go figure.
      They will quietly kill this case and story but focus on Patience Jonathan’s bank accounts. Then Sagay, Falana and Southern literati will continue to blow hard that “fighting corruption” not Restructuring is the problem with Nigeria. Well, here’s a test-case for them to chew on.

  • Gary

    Nothing about this transaction passes the smell test. It all reeks of sleaze and larceny in exalted places. And proof that the Sokoto Sultanate is not above corruption.
    This is happening in the same Sokoto State whose government has publicly committed to completing nearly two hundred (yes 200) MOSQUES all over the state within Mr. Tambuwal’s tenure as Governor. Sokoto is one of Nigeria’s least educated states and contributes little to nothing to national revenues. But the children of the nobles all school abroad.

    Here we see the Paris Club Refund again diverted for illicit purposes amid continued national recession, mass unemployment and hunger in the land.

    Since it’s the Sultan of Nigeria (might as well call him what he’s become) involved, nothing will come out of this probe. I will wager that the Presidency will soon force a retraction and apology from the EFCC for this impudent probe. Any takers?

  • Alhaji

    I am not surprised, northerners are born as thieves.

  • Ademola Oyeyemi

    Wow! Despite the poverty in the land. God please help in this country.

  • marc umeh

    This is why they will fight to death to keep nigeria one. And there are southern collaborators who would care less.