The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Chairman of Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Gummi Local Government in Zamfara State, Ibrahim Rijiya, over diversion of bags of fertiliser.
Mr Rijiya is also the district head of Rijiya Gummi in the same local government area.
He was arrested alongside the local government council’s storekeeper, Aminu Musa, and Abdullahi Bashir.
They were accused of involvement in the criminal diversion of 1,800 bags of fertiliser and a truck-load of farming herbicide belonging to rice farmers’ association in Zamfara.
Mr Rijiya was also alleged to have sold each bag of the fertiliser for N3,000.
According to a post on the EFCC Facebook page, the suspects were arrested after the anti-graft agency received a petition from representatives of seven groups of rice farmers.
It said the petitioners alleged that sometimes in July 2018, the Federal Government approved and disbursed 12 trucks of fertiliser and herbicides on loan to 83 cooperative groups in Gummi but that no member of the association got the items as approved by the government.
All efforts made by the Gummi Chapter of RIFAN to get the items back were unsuccessful, the statement added.
According to the EFCC, investigation revealed that Mr. Rijiya conspired with Mr Musa to divert and sell the three trailers load of fertiliser and a truck load of herbicide to Bashir at the cost of N17.1million and shared the money among themselves.
“The suspects confessed to their roles in the crime, while the three trailers of the fertiliser have been recovered from them. Efforts are in top-gear to recover the diverted herbicide.”
The suspect would soon be charged to court, the EFCC said.
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