Katsina government dismisses alleged N64b misappropriation
Katsina State Government has described allegations that more than N40 billion has been misappropriated in the last five years of the current administration as frivolous and unfounded.
It also denied diverting more than N24 billion from the state’s security escrow account into accounts of some political office holders in the state.
A business mogul, Mahdi Shehu, had, in a live radio programme last week, alleged that N24 billion state security fund was diverted under Governor Aminu Masari’s watch from 2015 to 2019.
Shehu, also an activist, had in a subsequent interview alleged that over N40 billion was diverted in shoddy circumstances during same period.
He said N49 million was spent on phones for State Executive Council (SEC) members, while hundreds of millions were diverted into accounts of public office holders.
But speaking during a world press conference yesterday, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mustapha Inuwa, said the person who made the allegations didn’t back it up with facts.
Inuwa said the monies that accrued to the state security escrow account from 2015 to date were a little over N6 billion and not N24 billion as alleged by Shehu.
He said little over N2 million was used to buy phones for SEC members, to ensure they could be reached at any time their attention was needed.
According to him, a large percentage of the monies that comes from the federation account goes into payment of salaries and pensions, with little is left for projects.
The SSG said monies expended since inception of the Masari-led administration were duly accounted for and that documents that prove same were available for interested persons to see.
Katsina government, he noted, would seek legal redress over the allegations, even as he assured the residents of government’s commitment to transparent use of public funds.
“The entire money that came into the state security escrow account since we came into office is N6.4 billion; so how can somebody say that we embezzled N24 billion from same account?
“When you deduct monies paid as salaries, pensions and other recurrent expenses, what usually remains is not more than N200 million. Where or how was N40 billion diverted in such case?” he stated.
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