By Our Reporters
When Abdullaziz Yari, fought desperately to install, Mukhtar Idris, the state Commissioner of Finance as governor of Zamfara and Nigerian Governor’s Forum, NGF, many believe that he was a mindset to install a stooge that will cover up his financial mismanagemen in the state..
He got it as the Supreme Court had sacked the all the All Progressive Congress, APC, elected Candidates in the state including Idris, the governor elect over perceived annomalies in the party primaries that produced them to run for the general elections in the state and as the eople’s Democratic Party, PDP, and other parties Candidate that came second during the elections were declared winners and given Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC . It was bad news for the Yari, the former governor who may have wanted to cover up hs lapses in the management of the state Ffund..
Indigenes of the state may have started getting snippets about how the former governor frittered away local government funds on fictitious projects when Bello Matawalle , the PDP governor elet of the state had access to the books and cried out.
Indeed, contrary to earlier claims by Yari that he has left behind no debts in the state, the transition committee was said to have discovered over a 100 Billion p debt profile , attributed to reckless spending as it was found to be dubious. In the Ministry for local government and chieftaincy affairs alone, Yari was said to have left behind 35 Billion Naira liability.
These liabilities, according to a member of the Committee, are not even the issue but a careful appraisal of the books revealed a” systematic embezzlement of funds through bogus contracts and illegal deductions, running into Billions of Naira with barely anything tangible on ground to justify the spendings”.
In total disregard for any known procedure, Yari was said to have approved contracts to dubious companies without any competitive bidding and in contravention of the procurement act. A certain Alliance Trading Company Ltd was said to haven awarded a contract for rural electrification at a sum of 22.9 Billion naira and was fully paid even though they have not executed the Job.
Another Company, China Zhongao Ltd was awarded two contracts for the construction of 84 Solar powered Boreholes at the sum of 27 Billion naira each.
The Value News learnt that then Yari government hd reviewed the contracts by adding an additional 27 Billion into 84 of the contracts, an indication that each unit of the boreholes wacost was increased to 325 million Naira.
The 1st contract was said to have been awarded in 2014 with a 5 percent advance payment. The second contract was awarded in 2018 with another 50percent advance payment even though the 1st contract was not executed.
Not that in the reports of the to the Transition committee, the subcommittee for the local government ministry which was cited by the Magazine, it revealed that the company has not even mobilized to the site for the second contract. The Committee were said to have also noted that non of the beneficiary companies provided any bond, collateral or insurance before they were paid in advance.
Political watchers believe that contracts were not the only means through which Yari and his cohorts allegedly siphoned funds in the ministry but through bogus deductions which were made every month running into hundreds of millions of Naira under dubious subheads
; Loan repayments, Bank Charges, Security Consultants, UMRA, Hajj, among others.
They described some of the items as funny and uninspirational that Bello, the current governor of the state ,has vowed to inject sanity into governance in the state..” It was clear that Yari and his collaborators never imagined that those books will be subjected to scrutiny, that’s the only explanation why they were so reckless, the gover had said”, according to the Transition Committee,
Other companies used by Yari to launder funds included Mothercat Ltd, Eurobond, BT transport, BT oil and Habibu Engineering. Worried at the looting of the state and local governemnt treasury s exposed by the the state governor, a petitions were said to have flood the Ibrahim Magu led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent and Corrupt Pratices Commission, ICPC, Yari to probe those companies used by the former governor and his cohorts to launder public funds.
It was learnt that the job of most of the companies was basically to transfer huge amount from any payments made to an unknown account suspected to belong to the former governor. to Yari through his personal accounts, bureau de change or associates. In fact, The Transition Committee claimed that Yari used credit cards linked to those companies whenever he travelled abroad.
More worrisome was the contract awarded to Samaila S Pawa alias Konka and o Rilwanu Ibrahim Milo alleged to be his cronies. The contracts were said to have been inflated for the smaller boreholes and rural electrification scheme on a monthly basis as they were paid millions of naira even in instances where it was confirmed and reported to the governor that they never mobilised to sites.
In the ministry of home affairs and the Dept of the Cabinet office, Yari was said to have also left a staggering debt of 41 Billion.
Most of the debts, it was gathered was tied to non- existent projects at inflated costs.
Take for instance, Claims of building of various hostel blocks in Federal Polytechnic Kaura Namoda, Fed University Gusau, Federal College of Education, Technical, FCET Gusau, ABU Zaria and few others which were said to have been discovered by the Transition Committee to be false. There were also established cases of inflated invoices for Government House vehicles at a whopping sum of 141m naira but nowhere found. The situation in Zamfara may not be different in other states that had a new governor from a different party.