July 21, 2024

On Friday, dozens of protesters occupied the entrance to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) headquarters, demanding that the commission restart investigations into former Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle.

The demonstrators, under the aegis of the APC Loyalists Forum, are demanding the EFCC to investigate all petitions against Matawalle, who is the minister of state for defense in President Bola Tinubu’s Federal Government.

They accused the minister of contract diversion up to the tune of N70 billion during his tenure as governor of the state.

The EFCC Director of Public Affairs, Wilson Uwujaren, who received the protest letter on behalf of the chairman, assured the protesters that the commission is determined to pursuing every corruption case to a logical conclusion.

The EFCC had in May 2023, said the then outgoing Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle was under investigation for alleged N70bn fraud.

The Commission, in a statement then said Matawalle was being investigated over allegation of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts and diversion of over N70billion.

“The money which was sourced as loan from an old generation bank purportedly for the execution of projects across the local government areas of the state, was allegedly diverted by the governor through proxies and contractors who received payment for contracts that were not executed,” the statement partly read in part.

“The Commission’s investigations so far reveal that more than 100 companies have received payments from the funds, with no evidence of service rendered to the state.”

The EFCC said some of the contractors had been invited and quizzed, adding that they made “startling revelations on how they were allegedly compelled by the governor to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting the same to United States Dollars”.

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