Governor Isa Yuguda

Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda visited the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (rtd), at the weekend.

The secret visit might not be unconnected with a petition on the alleged diversion of a N35billion loan the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the ICPC is probing.

Yuguda arrived at the ICPC headquarters, without the paraphernalia of office, at about 11.05am in a blue Honda car last Friday.

He headed straight for the office of the ICPC chairman.

It was gathered that a bewildered Justice Ayoola suspended his official duties for a closed-door 45-minute session with the governor.

Justice Ayoola repeatedly asked some of his close aides what informed the sudden visit, The Nation learnt.

After the exit of the governor, Justice Ayoola summoned some heads of department to find out if they were handling any case involving the Bauchi State government because he could not “fathom what informed the secret visit”.

A source said the Head of the Unit told the ICPC chairman of an ongoing probe of a petition on the alleged diversion of a N35billion loan.

According to findings, the petitioner had alleged that the loan, which was meant for infrastructure, had been diverted “under the guise of security vote”.

A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “The FIU of the ICPC has been investigating the allegations by interacting with some government officials.

“In fact, another set of officials (including some commissioners) are expected to interact with the FIU this week on how the loan was utilised.

“We have not established anything against any officials in Bauchi State since investigation is still in progress.

“But we have invited some officials to come with relevant files on how the said loan was secured and spent. We hope to interact with these officials before the week runs out.

“What the petitioner said was that the loan was obtained for development projects but it has been spent as security vote and on other overheads.

“Although the petitioner put the loan at N35billion, the ongoing probe will ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the claim.

“We are determined to retrieve all relevant transaction letters and vouchers on the said loan.”

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mallam Shehu Rilwan, said the visit had nothing to do with the probe.

Rilwan said: “The purpose of the visit was to solicit for ICPC support in organising seminars and trainings for civil servants in Bauchi State on anti-corruption as the commission had done for workers in Katsina and may do in Jigawa states.”