Paris Club: Bauchi Gov Caught Hand In The Kitty, Syphons N1.9b As EFCC Looks On

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Presently, informed political spectators in Bauchi State find themselves holed in a perplexing dilemma over recent actions of the Governor, Barrister Abubakar, over the Paris Club funds released by the federal government to the thirty six states of the federation. Information available to obtained from a competent source indicates that the State Governor may have made away with nearly N2billion out of the money released to the state.

According to available information, Bauchi state received a total of N12.7billion from the Paris fund disbursement. Immediately following the release of the money, the state governor’s first actions was to authorize the payment of One billion, Six hundred and Forty million, Six hundred and fifty Nine thousand, Two hundred and Nine Naira,  Seventy Nine Kobo. (N1, 640, 659, 209: 79K), into Zenith Bank Account Number 1012899394 of one MAURTIZ WALTON as consultations fees for Paris Club funds on 21st- 12- 2016. The actual money deducted for the consultancy services was 1.9 billion Naira, but 300 million was removed as tax.

The 1.6 billion Naira was transferred from FCMB to Zenith Bank, with cheque number 16181311 and Ministry of Finance Bauchi detailed cheque number 0994900017. The money was transferred from Jos Road branch of the Bank in Bauchi. Through sort code number 057080361.

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Yakubu Alhaji Jibrin, the Secretary General of Bauchi Coalition Against Financial Crimes and Injustice called the actions of the Governor “outright fraud and open corruption”. He continued, “How can someone pay 1.6 billion Naira consultancy services for 12.7 billion Naira? No state was expecting this money, but out of goodwill and gesture of the President released the funds to them”.

Cursory investigation reveal that the consulting firm belongs to a relative and an associate of the governor, Alhaji Ali Mohammed Kumo who is also reported to act as a front for the Governor. Some of the recently disbanded cabinet members confirmed to our correspondent that the consulting firm serves as the main front for the Governor.

Interesting, the consulting firm has only two signatories to the accounts. And they are Alhaji Ali Mohammed Kumo and Maurtiz Walton. Alhaji Kumo hails from Kumo in Gombe State where the governor’s mother also hails from. According to another source, “Ali Kumo is known right from the beginning of this government to front for the Bauchi state governor, he took the governor to his village, Kumo in Gombe state where the governor was conferred with a traditional title, the Sarkin Yakin Lamido Akko. Kumo is in Akko Local Government It is believed the governor’s mother  is from Kumo. The Bauchi state governor was magnanimous enough to build a school in Kumo, Gombe state while leaving hundreds of schools in Bauchi, his primary responsibility  unattended to“.

Shortly following the payment of the money into the consulting firms account, Kumo began transferring monies out of the account into various accounts in small chunks. The series of transfer were used to draw down on the amount deposited.

The duo of Kumo and Walton, according to a competent source inside the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], were interrogated by the EFCC following a petition served against the duo. The two were interrogated on July 17 and July 18, 2017. Our source indicated that the Governor ensured that the two men were not detained at the EFCC.

Following the interrogation, learnt of efforts by the two men to subvert the investigation being conducted by the EFCC. According to our source, “they are looking for EFCC staff to help retrieve the case file and close the case”.  The two men are said to have made inroads into their quest to employ a willing participant from within the EFCC.

Already, the informed spectators in Bauchi who are cognizant of the effort of the two men to stop the EFCC investigation express concern that the two men may succeed in their effort. They said they have no confidence in the acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu to thoroughly investigate the case and bring the culprits to book.

The speaker of the house of representative, Hon. Dogara who also hails from Bauchi State is quoted as saying that “he is no longer confident with Magu … that he will do something about this case”.

Interestingly, the Governor of Bauchi State is said to have not been able to commission a single project in his over two years of stay. A source inside the government house who is also knowledgeable of the goings on within the kitchen cabinet told that the governor has turned Bauchi State into his personal cash machine. “The Governor have made over 10billion in just his first two years“.

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