Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has alleged that he has uncovered massive fraud and theft perpetrated by the Bauchi State government under Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar to the tune of N400 billion from May 2015 when he assumed office to date.
According to a press statement signed and issued by Turaki Hassan Special Adviser, (Media & Public Affairs) Office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Yakubu Dogara made the allegation while speaking at a campaign rally in Dass, headquarters of Dass local government area on Friday, where Yakubu Dogara presented documented evidence to a mammoth crowd of his constituents showing how thousands of non-existent people were said to have been employed in 2015 shortly after the governor came into office.
The statement further contained that “the Speaker challenged Governor Abubakar to take him to court and promised that he will defend the allegations and added that as a lawyer he knows the law and would not level false allegations against anyone if he does not have evidence. A perusal of one of the documents indicates that no fewer than 1,200 people were said to have been employed and added into the state’s payroll beginning from July 2015”.
The Speaker according to the statement further contained “However, one of the ghost employees by name, Bappale Adamu, was said to have been born in 1899, which is 120 years ago and started work with the Bauchi state government on July 24, 2015, and will retire from the service in 2023. Another startling revelation showed that all the 1,200 workers, though have different names and dates of birth, have the same Bank Verification Number (BVN), meaning that their entire salary was being paid into one and same bank account under different names. The salaries vary from N39,000 to N86,000 and above”.
The Speaker also wondered how Bauchi State monthly salary skyrocketed from N2.6 billion per month in May 2015 to N7 billion without recruitment of additional workers, especially as the governor had early in his administration, fired thousands of political appointees engaged by former governor Isa Yuguda, which should have reduced the state’s wage bill drastically.
He also accused the governor of diverting billions of local government funds in the last 3 1/2 years just as he also recalled how the Governor chased away contractors renovating Dass Central Mosque but failed to renovate it after repeated promises and revealed how he personally paid for the renovation of the mosque.
It would be recalled that the Bauchi state Government had owed workers more than one year salaries following series of verifications allegedly to remove ghost workers from the state’s payroll by the present administration at its inception in 2015, but sadly, shortly after that, the monthly salary bill increased from N2.6 billion to about N7 billion.
In August 2016, political leaders and stakeholders from the state led by the Speaker sought President Mohammadu Buhari’s intervention on the non-payment of salaries which didn’t yield any result and has been the major source of disagreement between the Speaker, political leaders, stakeholders and the Bauchi state Governor.
In a swift reaction, the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has stated that Yakubu Dogara is making him (Gov Abubakar) his main campaign issue because he is suffering from pre-election fever just as he advised him (Dogara) to focus on his constituents leave him (Gov Abubakar) alone.
Dogara makes Gov Abubakar his main campaign issue bcos he suffers from pre-election fever. We advise him to focus on his constituents & leave Gov Abubakar out. The Governor in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Abubakar AlSadiqque stated that “the figure of N400 billion he (Dogara) quoted can simply be translated to over N9 billion monthly since Governor Mohammed Abubakar assumed office. That only exposes Dogara as having lost ideas and issues over which to seek re-election”.
The statement further contained that, “We are not surprised because the man had been out of touch with Bauchi politics since he became Speaker”.