• Demands apology from Sahara Reporters/Sun Newspapers, others
The Executive Director of the Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) Dr Abdulahi Shinkafi on Friday debunked insinuations in some Nigerian Newspapers and online media that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of N1billion fraud.
Shinkafi stated that he would not have joined issues with the purveyors of the fake news but was forced to clarify the issues owing to several calls and messages he received from friends and political associates.
To this end, he, however, gave the Sahara reporters, the Sun Newspapers and Daily Patriots 48 hours within which to retract their false stories and tender a public apology or face defamation of character suit.
In a statement signed in Abuja, Shinkafi stated that he was invited to the EFCC zonal office in Sokoto following the directives that he comes forward for clarification on the petitions he had earlier sent to the EFCC over the looting of Zamfara State public funds by the immediate past Governor Abdulaziz Yari led administration.
According to him: “It would be recalled that we had petitioned the EFCC demanding the investigation of the misappropriation and diversion of the N499 million meant for the purchase of fertilizers by the former Governor of Zamfara State Abdulazeez Yari.
“Our group in the said petition to the Chairman of the Commission routed through the Sokoto Zonal Office of the EFCC demanded the Commission to invite, investigate and possibly prosecute the former Governor Yari and the Managing Director Zamfara Agricultural Supply Company Limited for illegal withdrawals, misappropriation of funds belonging to the Zamfara State Government.
“We had alleged that “the fertilizer Dealers Associations in Zamfara State deposited the sum of Three Hundred and Seventy Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N370,800,000) only, which is equivalent to the value of 103 trucks and 278 bags of fertilizer into Zamfara State Agricultural Supply Company Limited Fertilizer Sales Account domiciled in Access Bank Gusau Branch with Bank Account Number 0029140950.”
Shinkafi argued that PAPSD had also petitioned EFCC asking it to invite, investigate and possibly prosecute Yari, his former Commissioners of Finance and Local Government Affairs for allegedly diverting over N365million from the accounts of the local government under the guise of sponsoring ulamas to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
“You would also recall that there is a petition I wrote against Maman Nasir and Co Law firm for illegal deduction and diversion of N1,088,000,000: 00k in the name of consultancy services for processing of bailout funds.
“The principal partner of the law firm Barrister Sani Katu SAN has invited EFCC zonal head office for clarification and write statements on the petition clearly stated that the sum of N980,000,000 was paid to a proxy to the Abdulaziz Yari in 98 instalments by bank draft which was admitted as evidence for the transactions yet after he was granted bail he sued me EFCC, former Zonal Head commandant, Abdullahi Lawal, Zamfara State Government and Alhaji Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi as a codefendant for violation of fundamental human rights.”
“The EFCC Zonal Head office Sokoto invited me to harmonise and adopt my statements of defence for the final determination of the suit slated for 5th October 2021.
“Later it was translated to political propaganda, empty blackmail and mischief-making to divert the attention of the members of the public against the stealing, diversion, abuse of office and award of fictitious contracts and looting of public funds belonging to the People of Zamfara State for personal enrichment,” he added.
On the N37.4 Promissory Notes, PAPSD had charged Abdulrashid Bawa to work the talk to arrest and prosecute Yari and all those mentioned in the petition over allegations of the diversion of N37.4 Billion Promissory Notes being the refund of the rehabilitation of Federal Government roads in Zamfara State.
The group stated that Bawa during his Senate screening had vowed to bring to book all corrupt officials without fear or favour noting that it had written several petitions to the Commission without action from the EFCC.
Shinkafi noted that the group had charged the Chairman of the Commission to make good his pledge while being screened by the Senate, noting that in spite of several petitions and the conclusion of investigations by the Sokoto Zonal office of the Commission the former Chairman of the Commission Ibrahim Magu refused to arraign the suspects even when a prima facie case was established against them.
He said the group had specifically in a petition called on the EFCC to investigate the fraudulent misappropriation and diversion of the N37.400,263,782:33 Billion Promissory Notes belonging to Zamfara State as a refund for Federal Roads Projects executed by the state government.
Shinkafi stated: “I hereby wish to forward a petition to the Commission for a thorough investigation and possible prosecution of the case of the fraudulent and criminal diversion of the N37,400,263,781 being the promissory notes which were issued by the Federal Government through the Debt Management Office ((DMO).
“The said N37,400,263,781 is a refund of the Federal rehabilitated roads in Zamfara state which was issued on December 28th, 2018 with Face Value #14,960,105,512:93 with a Maturity Date: 28th December 2020 and the 1st April 2019 with a Face Value of Promissory Note: #22,440,158,269:00 Promissory Note Reference FGN /PN/2019/SG/21 with Maturity Date of 1st April 2022.
Shinkafi pointed out that “the Promissory Notes were however discounted to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) by former Governor Abdulazeez Yari ahead of the maturity dates without the approval of the State Executive Council or the resolution of the Zamfara State House Of Assembly. The Zamfara State government lost billions of naira after the Promissory Notes were acquired at an undisclosed discounted rate.
“In his desperate bid to cash out the N37.400,263,781 that has not matured he terminated the deal.
“It is on record that we had been invited by the Ibrahim Magu led Commission to come forward to adopt our petition which we did, our petition was thoroughly investigated, some arrests were made but the Magu led Commission did not allow the prosecution of the suspects.
“We hope that the Bawa led Commission will do the needful and walk the talk by arresting and prosecuting all those found culpable in the wanton looting, diversion and money laundering of funds belonging to Zamfara State,” Shinkafi added.