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N2bn ecological funds disappears in Niger State

Amount rakes in N33m monthly interest for him
Niger Gov, Bello confirms N6 billion was stolen by former State Commissioner


The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has confirmed that a former official of the State made away with N6 billion from the coffers of government as he also alleged that the state’s ecological funds were diverted to private pockets, hoping that EFCC would recover the money for the State.

Also, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has issued a final warning to a former gubernatorial candidate in Niger State to make himself available for interrogation over the discovery of N 6 billion traceable to him or risk being declared wanted.

The politician, Kantigi Liman, who was the commissioner for Local Government in Niger State, made a failed bid to become the governor of the state in 2015 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party when he crashed out at the primary level.

But the EFCC said on Friday that it had traced additional N2 billion to the man and companies linked to him and would require to interrogate him urgently to determine how the money came into his accounts.

According to the agency, the new cash was discovered in his account with the United Bank for Africa by its investigators.

A source in the agency said, “The discovery brings to N 6 billion funds traced to accounts held by the politician and companies linked to him.

“The Commission had some weeks earlier traced N 4 billion to two accounts in GTBank, both linked to Liman.

“The first account belongs to Sadiq Air Travel Agency Limited and the second to Kantigi.

Sources at the Commission, however, are of the view that the politician who was a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 election, is dodging the operatives and must be fished out to face interrogation. He has been elusive.

“He is on the run and all efforts to track him down have been futile. The next option left for the Commission is to declare him wanted,” one of the sources told Saturday Vanguard.

The source further disclosed that investigations so far pointed to the direction that the funds were syphoned from the Niger State-Local Government Joint Account and that the anti-graft agency was ready to confront the suspect with evidence.

According to EFCC, the politician is believed to be raking in a monthly interest of over N33 million on the fixed deposits.

Niger Gov, Bello confirms N6 billion was stolen by former State Commissioner

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has confirmed that a former official of the State made away with N6 billion from the coffers of government.

The governor spoke to Journalists after worshiping with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House mosque on Friday.

Governor Bello while speaking suspected that the money must be proceeds of inflated hajj interventions by the state government to pilgrims cornered by the former Commissioner during the periods he served as the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims’ Agency.

Bello also alleged that the ecological funds received by the state were diverted to private pockets, hoping that EFCC would recover the money for the State.

He said: “I’m aware that the EFCC is investigating the ecological funds. At the inception of this administration we realized that the ecological funds disappeared.

“I did not have any evidence that it was utilized to address any ecological issues and we are faced with major ecological problems especially in Mokwa, Agaie, Bida, part of Minna, Rafin Gora and Mariga.

“We are doing our best to address the ecological problems. We need funds and unfortunately, the N2 billion that was given to the state was not judiciously used to address the ecological challenges.

“If it had been used properly maybe our burden might have been reduced by now, but we are having sleepless nights over ecological issues and we are still approaching the Federal Government to assist us”.

The governor also told Journalists that President Buhari had given approval for the exploration of Hydro-Carbon and other solid minerals discovered in the state.

Bello was also excited that President Buhari health had improved.

“I’m in the State House to check and we prayed together and he is doing very well. I’m happy that I saw him today.”

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