The Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, has approved the setting up of a commission of inquiry to probe alleged misappropriation of over N107 billion by the immediate past administration in the state.
A statement issued by Mr Matawalle’s spokesperson, Zailani Bappah, said the figure is a “total sum of money discovered to have been misappropriated between 2011 to 2019.”
A spokesperson for Mr Yari has denied the allegations.
The decision to set up the commission was reached on Wednesday at a state executive council meeting and made public by the state’s deputy governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau.
“This is partly a fallout of the final report of the Ahmad Zabarma committee constituted at the wake of this administration to find out the depth of engagement by the last administration in terms of public finances and procurement, which was equally submitted to the governor at the Government House.”
According to the government, the committee disclosed that the last administration might have squandered the finances of the state to the tune of over N107 billion, which could not be properly accounted for.
“For instance, the sum of N10 billion was discovered to have been paid to the state government from the federal government by e-payment, which also disappeared via e-payment within two days without any record of it in the appropriate books.
“Another N10 billion found to have been paid in two tranches was discovered to have landed in the accounts of two bureau d’ change companies in Kano, the committee disclosed. Other shoddy deals involved many contracts awarded and either not executed or partly executed.”
The committee, according to the official statement, also discovered that over 1,000 vehicles were said to have been purchased by the last administration without any trace of the vehicles.
“The state government, therefore, owes it as a duty not to allow these findings to be swept under the carpet without properly addressing them”, the state deputy governor said.
Last week, the state government announced the discovery of alleged misappropriation of about N37 billion promissory notes, “which were lodged at a commercial bank and collected in a shoddy manner and the sums collected were also discovered to have disappeared in a jiffy.”
The state’s former commissioner of finance during the Yari administration, Mukhtar Idris, however denied the state government’s allegations on the promissory notes transaction.
The statement also quoted Governor Matawalle as assuring the citizens of the state that his administration will never be lenient on issues of betrayal of trust of the people by anyone, further assuring that justice will be done to the Zamfara people over this massive fraud.
Mr Bappah said details of the commission of inquiry and its complete terms of reference will be provided in due course.
A spokesman for Mr Yari, Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji, said the former governor is not afraid of any investigation.
“We are not afraid at all because we have done nothing wrong. There is nothing they can find against us.
“Fear grips only he who is guilty. We are waiting for the panel, let them bring it on,” Mr Birnin-Magaji said.