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Group calls for probe of Yari over missing N47 billion State funds

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A non-governmental organization, Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Justice (PAPS) has called on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu to investigate the alleged diversion of over N47 billion by former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.

“It is discovered that in February 2019 the previous administration secured a loan of N10 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” PAPS said in a statement signed by it Executive Director Shinkafi in Abuja on Monday.

“N5 billion was meant for the supply of Agro-Chemicals that includes pesticides, herbicides, and other accessories while the other N5 billion was for the purchase of grains and other agricultural commodities.”

The group said the money was sent to the Zamfara State government by the Federal Government for the repair of federal roads in the state and the procurement of fertilizers and other Agro-Allied products by the former administration.

“The Federal Government gave Zamfara State N5 billion for the purchase of fertilizer and procurement of agricultural inputs through the Zamfara State Commodity Marketing and Distribution Board (ZASCO),” Shinkafi said.

“The amount was credited to ZASCO through its account number 1014692584 domiciled with Zenith Bank,” he added. 

It added that the Commission should also investigate the diversion of the N37.4 billion being the reimbursement to the state for the rehabilitation of federal roads and the N10 billion belonging to Zamfara State meant for the supply of fertilizers, Agro-chemicals, allied products and grains by two companies Babura Global Concept LTD and Danbau Global Investment

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The group, however, called on the EFCC to investigate the two companies Babura Global Concept Ltd and Danbazau Global Investment Ltd who were awarded contracts for the supply of fertilizers and other agro-allied products who ended up not supplying the products.

PAPS noted that the Zamfara State’s Project Verification Committee set up by Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle in its interim report dated February 2020 indicated that the state government received N10 billion from the Federal Government and lost the same amount for no justifiable cause.

The group alleged that the transaction was done in 5 trances of Multics of one billion nairas on the 6th of February 2019 as directed by the then Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Finance Abubakar Bello R: Doruwa possibly to circumvent certain banking provisions, adding that the company is a ‘bureau de change organization and it is not registered for the procurement of agricultural commodities or input but in hard currencies. 
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It also stated that the contracts were awarded to Babura Global Concept Ltd and Danbazau Global Investment Ltd.

“Babura was to supply Agro-chemicals while Danbazau to supply grains worth N5 billion,” Shinkafi said.

PAPS said the Committee discovered that the loans were dubiously obtained from the CBN with no official records to specify 100 percent of the entire dealings, the violations of loans securing and contracts awards have not been optimally followed.

“The money is for boosting agricultural production, but it was never used as the whole amount was transferred to the account of Babura Global Concept Account Number 1013486487 domiciled with Zenith Bank with a view to supplying fertilizer to the state.

“The Committee discovered that all payments were done in three days from the 6th and 8th February 2019 at the heat of the APC primaries crises.

“At a certain level, the Director Of Finance ZASCO Yusuf Garba Gusau was threatened by the Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Finance when he was insisting on due process and proper documentation,”  

The group noted that the directive was complied by the MD Of ZASCO Abdulsalam Turaki to Zenith Bank to effect e-payment transfer to the beneficiary of Babura Global Concept was Of one billion each on February 6th, 2019.

It said both the inflow and outflow were made on 6th and 8th February 2019 as per Bank Statement attached as appendix XX in Appendix XVI.

“The sum of N5 billion was paid into the account of the Board from the CBN after the Board received directives from the then Permanent Secretary, Zamfara Ministry Of Finance to reactivate it’s dormant which hopefully has not been covered by the Treasury Single Account (TSA). The Board’s dormant account was reactivated with an opening balance of N 15,055.50 on February 6thby the Director Of Finance. On the same date, the sum of N285,000 was deposited into the account by one Yahaya Bala an account with the Board.

“After the payment of the N5 billion by the CBN into the Board’s account, the said funds were credited to the accounts of Danbazau Global Investment Company Ltd with no Executive Council Council approval granted to obtain the N10 billion loan from the CBN to purchase Agro-Chemicals and Agricultural Commodities.”

It added that the Committee recommended that the two companies Babura Global Concept Ltd and Dambazau Global Investment Ltd refund the N5 billion each in addition to any legal measures deemed appropriate by the EFCC for taking an illegal shoddy deal to recover the amounts involved in purported contracts awarded.

The group further stated that “records show that five days to the handover date May 24th, 2019 the Abdulaziz Yari led government collected the approved N37.4 Billion that was fully reimbursed to the Zamfara State Government through the issuance of Federal Government Promissory Notes, ” it noted.

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