Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state is under probe for alleged “N70bn fraud”.
The anti-graft agency which also confirmed that a former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, who was recently arrested by the operatives of the commission over alleged N22bn fraud is still in detention, asked Nigerians not to be swayed by Matawalle’s recent outburst.
Recall that Matawalle had asked Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC chairman, to ensure that the agency’s investigation does not target only the outgoing governors but also officials in the presidency.
However reacting to this at a press conference in Abuja, Osita Nwajah, EFCC’s Director of Public Affairs, said they decided to serve a response to set the records straight.
Matawalle was accused of diverting money through proxies and contractors who received payment for contracts that were not executed.
It was also announced that investigations so far allegedly revealed that more than 100 companies had received payments from the funds, with no evidence of service rendered to the state.
It was further disclosed that some of the contractors who had been invited and quizzed by the commission, made startling revelations on how they were allegedly compelled by the governor to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting the same to United States Dollars.
Nwajah said; “The commission would like to put the nation on notice to expect more of the kind of wild allegations made by Matawalle as those at the receiving end of EFCC’s investigations, fight viciously back.
“But the real issue with Matawalle is that he is being investigated by the EFCC, over allegations of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts and diversion of over 70 billion.
“The money which was sourced as loan from an old generation bank purportedly for the execution of projects across the local government areas of the state, was allegedly diverted by the governor through proxies and contractors who received payment for contracts that were not executed.
“Some of the contractors who had been invited and quizzed by the Commission, made startling revelations on how they were allegedly compelled by the governor to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting the same to United States dollars.
“One of the contractors, a popular Abuja property developer, collected N6 billion on a N10 billion contract without rendering any service to Zamfara state.
“Another contractor collected over N3 billion for a contract for the supply of medical equipment but the Commission traced a payment of N400 million from his account to a Bureau de Change operator. The contractor confessed the payment was to procure the dollar equivalent allegedly for the state governor.”