Group petitions EFCC over alleged diversion of Zamfara N37.4 billion promissory notes

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A group under the umbrella of Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute those involved in the alleged diversion of N37.4 billion promissory notes being the refund of the rehabilitation of Federal Government roads in Zamfara State during the administration of Abdulazeez Yari.

In a petition to the Chairman of the Commission, Abulrasheed Bawa and signed by the Executive Director Dr. Abdulahi Sani Shinkafi, PAPSD stated that despite several petitions and the conclusion of investigations by the Sokoto office of the Commission, adding that the former Chairman of the Commission Ibrahim Magu had refused to arraign the suspects even when a prima facie case was established against them.

The group, however, called on the EFCC to investigate the fraudulent misappropriation and diversion of the N37.400,263,782:33 billion promissory notes belonging to Zamfara State as a refund for federal roads projects executed by the state government.

Shinkafi pointed out that those to be prosecuted by the Commission include the former governor, Abdulazeez Yari, his commissioners, branch manager of UBA in Zamfara, DMO office, and others.

The petition to the EFCC reads: “I hereby wish to forward a petition to the Commission for a thorough investigation and possible prosecution of the case of the fraudulent and criminal diversion of the N37,400,263,781 being the promissory notes which were issued by the Federal Government through the Debt Management Office ((DMO).

“The said N37,400,263,781 is a refund of the Federal rehabilitated roads in Zamfara state which was issued on December 28th, 2018 with face value N14,960,105,512:93 with a maturity date: 28th December 2020 and the 1st April 2019 with a face value of promissory note: N22,440,158,269:00 promissory note reference FGN /PN/2019/SG/21 with a maturity date of 1st April 2022.

“The promissory notes were however discounted to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) by former Governor Abdulazeez Yari ahead of the maturity dates without the approval of the State Executive Council or the resolution of the Zamfara State House of Assembly. The Zamfara State government lost billions of naira after the promissory notes were acquired at undisclosed discounted rates.

“In his desperate bid to cash out the N37.400,263,781 that has not matured he terminated the deal by signing up undisclosed discounted rate percent per annum. We call for the investigation and possible prosecution of the following people for their active roles in the misappropriation of the promissory notes belonging to the good people of Zamfara State.

“Hon. Abdulazeez Yari, former Governor Of Zamfara State, Hon. Mukhtar Idris former Commissioner Of Finance Zamfara State and former Director Of Finance Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Adamu Mohammed Ahmed former Accountant General Zamfara State.

Others include: “Abubakar Bello R/Doruwa former Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Finance Zamfara State, Mrs. Patience Oniha Director General Debt Management Office (DMO), Mr. Asiahana Bayo Okaurau Director-General Nigeria Governors Forum, Mrs. Chinwe Juliet Chima and the Branch Manager United Bank for Africa (UBA) Gusau.”

He noted that the question for determination is why the hurry to cash out the money before the maturity dates, stressing that the former governor Yari should explain what he did with the money he collected after making the state lose billions of naira as a discount.

“Why the DG and staff of the Nigerian Governors Forum should collect the promissory notes on behalf of the Zamfara State government having not been a staff of the state government.

“We hereby urge the Commission to invite the above-mentioned persons for interrogation, investigation, and prosecution” he added.