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EFCC arrests top government functionaries in Taraba

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arrested three top government functionaries in Taraba State. The three officials are from the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Though their names have not been made public, The Guardian gathered that a permanent secretary, a cashier and a director of finance and administration are those presently playing guests to the commission.

Findings revealed that corrupt practices, which have resulted in surcharging of councils, led to the intervention of the EFCC. Also, alleged illegal withdrawal of N21 billion from the state’s treasury without due process, was said to have necessitated the arrest, while jittery officials of the state government have gone into hiding to avoid arrest.

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A staff of the Bureau told The Guardian that the leadership of the Bureau have been indicted for breaching the financial regulations on withdrawals, but believed those arrested would soon regain their freedom, as all efforts by both the Bureau and the state government to wade in “are in top gears.”

Apart from the Bureau, the anti-graft commission beamed its searchlight on other ministries, agencies and departments in the state that have been enveloped by corrupt practices. Among such institutions are the State Universal Basic Education Board and the Ministry of Finance.

Since the coming of the current administration, councils have become a shadow of themselves, as all activities have been grounded. Some of the council chairmen who spoke on the issue, agreed that they have been going cap in hands, as monthly allocations meant for them are always being diverted.

“The truth is, our monies from the federation account do not get to us, but government at the state level always make us to sign as if we collected the monies. They always end up giving us whatever they feel like giving.

“Sometimes, the amount they release for us cannot even pay the salaries of our workers. It is our prayer that the EFCC would do the needful so that at the end of the day, the much-needed sanity in our councils would be achieved, “ they said.

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