EFCC Probes Matawalle Over N70bn Fraud
EFCC Investigates Zamfara Governor for Allegedly Diverting N70 Billion Meant for State Contracts
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has initiated a probe into Bello Matawalle, the Governor of Zamfara State, for his alleged involvement in diverting a whopping sum of N70 billion.
The anti-graft agency disclosed this information on Thursday, responding to remarks made by Governor Matawalle himself.
During a press conference held in Abuja, Osita Nwajah, the Director of Public Affairs at the EFCC, shed light on the ongoing investigation and shed light on the alleged diversion of funds orchestrated by the governor’s associates.
Nwajah emphasized that the EFCC would not hesitate to combat back against the “wild allegations” put forth by Matawalle, as those under investigation tend to fight back fiercely.
“Matawalle is currently being investigated by the EFCC for allegations of monumental corruption, the awarding of phantom contracts, and the diversion of over 70 billion nairas,” Nwajah stated.
He further explained that “the funds, acquired as a loan from an established bank, were supposedly designated for numerous projects across the local government areas of Zamfara State.
“However, it is alleged that Governor Matawalle employed intermediaries and contractors to receive payments for contracts that were never executed, leading to the misappropriation of the funds.
The EFCC’s preliminary findings indicate that over 100 companies have received payments from these funds, despite there being no substantial evidence to prove that they provided any services to the state.
Nwajah revealed shocking details obtained during the questioning of some contractors, who disclosed how they were allegedly coerced by the governor into returning the funds received from the state treasury through his aides, often converting the money into United States dollars.
Among the contractors involved, one prominent Abuja property developer reportedly collected a staggering N6 billion for a N10 billion contract, without delivering any services to Zamfara State.
Another contractor, who was entrusted with a contract worth over N3 billion for the supply of medical equipment, had a payment of N400 million traced to a Bureau de Change operator. The contractor admitted that the payment was intended to procure the dollar equivalent, allegedly for the state governor.
The EFCC remains committed to pursuing this investigation diligently and ensuring that justice is served. Such alleged acts of corruption and financial misconduct, especially in positions of public trust, undermine the progress and development of the nation.
As the EFCC delves deeper into the matter, Nigerians eagerly await the outcome of this investigation, which could potentially expose further instances of corruption within the state and beyond.