By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi.
Former Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda and his former Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Alhaji Abdu Ilelah, are among some officials of the past government in the state that will cough out over N716 million being amount spent on security without relevant certification.
In the same vein, former State Accountant General under Yuguda administration, Adamu Umar Gokaru, former Auditor General; Abdu Usman Aliyu and former Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Abdu Aliyu Ilelah are to be sanctioned for gross misconduct, according to the State Public Property Recovery Committee report just submitted to the government.
The Committee headed by a retired Air Commander Ahmed Tijjani Baba Gamawa was set up by Governor Mohammed Abdullahi to investigate the activities of Bauchi State Agency for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (BASOVCA), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from May 2007 to May 2015.
According to the Chairman, the committee discovered that due process was not followed in the award of contracts at SUBEB where a N110, 126, 373. 64 was released for the payment of October, 2015 teachers’ salaries but the board utilized only N109, 351, 476.71 in paying 3, 216 newly recruited teachers and could not account for the balance.
The committee also alleged that N858M loan was fraudulently taken by SUBEB from Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc to fund projects already counter-funded by the state government in 2012 while the contractor that handled the contract of the E-Library project awarded by the board in the Institute of Education, Kangere who incidently was the Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed Ibrahim had not executed the project fully.
“The contractor failed to supply and install the Integrated Science Laboratory Equipment for which he was paid the sum of N4million at the same Institute”, the chairman said, revealing that accrued interest of N79million from the fixed deposit account in Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc be jointly refunded to the government by the board former Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Dabo and the former Chief Accountant, Alhaji Kabiru Malami Sidi.
The Committee report indicated that all signatories of SUBEB accounts be made to refund the “illegal loan collected from Sterling Bank PLC as well as the associated charges amounting to N933, 604, 619.57”, as it also recommended that Chief Accountant Local Education Authority Accounts at the board, Alhaji Mohammad Alhaji be made to account for N774, 897, 47 being balance of N110, 126, 373.64 released for the payment of October, 2015 salaries.
Similarly, the committee recommended that the sum of $475, 000 be recovered from Global Mega Education and Annabel Consultants unjustified mortgage commitments in California USA paid by the state government, while EXTACO ALUMINIUM Nigeria Ltd received N20.4million as advance payment for the installation of Terrazo in 29 blocks of 3 Classrooms, an Office and a store, but the contractor paid the sum of N15 million into the account of RAPS Reliable Ventures; a company owned by Engineer Ibrahim M. Danfulani, the Chief Engineer of SUBEB out of the said amount as bribe.
Other findings of the committee include the payment of NATA/Supervision allowances to the tune of N132, 361, 698.65 which were not retired by the beneficiaries, hence the committee recommendation that beneficiaries of the allowances also be made to account for the money indicated against their names in the report.
It further revealed that the Ministry for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs received the sum of N348, 571,141,755.78 as revenue from the Federation Account from April 2007 to May, 2015 and expended only N272, 743,173,889.86 but could not account for the balance of N75, 827, 949, 721.92 just as the Ministry could not also account for the sum of N6, 193, 659, 776.32 it received between 2012 and 2014 in respect of SURE..
The Ministry, according to committee, also purchased on behalf of the 20 LGA’s 277,134,152 Unit of Shares in Intercellular Nigeria Plc, cumulative Shares worth 885,514,081.08 in Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, N44, 000, 000. 00 worth of Shares in African Independent Television (AIT) and 10, 814.22 units of shares at Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited but failed to provide relevant documents including evidence of accrued dividends.
The committee report said that a former Commissioner of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajiya Talatu Mohammed Barwa, secured the approval of the former Governor for the sum of N2, 191, 248, 744.71 to provide infrastructural facilities in Health, Education and Security across the 20 Local Government Areas in the State which was not implemented.
The committee recommended that constitution of a Committee comprising of professionals to reconcile the accounts (JAAC, Sure-P & Projects Accounts) of the Ministry for Local Government Affairs in order to ensure accountability and transparency, while former Commissioner Talatu Mohammed Barwa, be made to account for the sum of N2, 191, 248, 744.71 being amount released for the provision of infrastructural facilities in the 20 Local Government Areas which was not implemented.
The committee observed that the Central Bank of Nigeria released a loan of N2 billion to Bauchi State Government through the Agency for Sustainable Microfinance for disbursement to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the State but the past administration disbursed only 500 million to the beneficiaries and fraudulently diverted N1.5 Billion to purportedly finance security needs between February and April 2015.
Receiving the committee report, Governor Mohammed Abubakar lamented the colossal amount said to have been spent on security while State was never at war, and promised to give all those indicted by the committee the opportunity to clear their names because of his belief in the rule of law. He also assured that due process will be followed to recover all resources illegally taken from government.
By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi.