The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday sealed and seized a choice property belonging to aformer Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda.
The seizure of the property located on plot 184 Attahiru Bafarawa close, beside Fariah Suits, GRA, Bauchi, is sequel to an interim order granted the commission by Justice J. T. Tshoho of Federal High Court Abuja Division.
The order of the court is pending the final determination of investigation and prosecution of the former Governor on allegations of abuse of office, money laundering and diversion of public funds.
The commission has been on the trail of Yuguda, who was also a minister under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, for a while after it received a petition from the present administration in that state.
So far, the anti-graft body is yet to locate the former governor, even as it suspects that he is out of the country.
A petition from the state had alleged that he spent N6.181billion as security votes within a period of four months in 2015 during his tenure.
The state cited a curious withdrawal of N2,191, 248,744.71 within 10 days under the guise of security votes.
The petition signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Bello Shehu Ilelah, urged the EFCC to probe the suspicious expenses, which he said were meant for other projects, but diverted to security votes.
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The petition, GO/SS/FIN/ S18/T.1 reads: “I am directed to lodge a petition on behalf of Bauchi State Government. The gist of the petition is that between January to May 2015, the sum of N6, 181, 224, 230 .00 was purportedly spent on security reasons and consideration as follows:
March (N2,040, 876,500)
May (N2, 150,441,730).
“On 8/5/2015 and 18/5/2015 respectively, two memoranda were originated by the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Bauchi State in the person of Hajiya Talatu M. Barwa to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda for the release of N1,591,248,744.71 and N600,000,000 respectively totalling N2,191, 248,744.71.
“The amount was supposed to be used for the execution of projects in the areas of health, education, rural development and security. The projects were said to cut across all the 20 Local Government Councils having direct bearing to the lives of people in various communities in the state.
“The sums are the 20 Local Government Councils’ contributions to joint projects between the state and local governments.
“The sums were spent as security vote requirements in May 2015 without executing any health, education and rural development-related projects which was the main reason why the application for cash backing was made.
“The sum of N1,591, 248,744.71 was to be released from the Local Government Joint Account No. 5030025116 at Fidelity Bank Plc to the Accountant-General through the Excess Crude Oil Account No. 1243224012 operated at the First City Monument Bank(FCMB) Plc.
“While the sum of N600million from the Local Government Joint Account No. 5030025116 at Fidelity Bank to the Bauchi State Government through Excess Crude Oil Account No. 1243224012operated at the First City Monument Bank(FCMB) Plc.
“Suffice to say that the sums of money in the memorandum for cash backing dated 8/5/2015 respectively were released. We urge you to cause investigation to be conducted into this matter. The following documents are attached and marked as Annexures 1,2, 3 and 4 respectively.
The annexures are Memorandum(8/5/2015); Memorandum(18/5/2015); Document titled payment of Security Vote requirement for the year 2015; and Document titled “Certificate of Expenditure.”
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