Jigawa, Rivers, Imo and Kwara States got more than they bargained for as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, laid ambush in the states to arrest all perceived officials to have an inkling of alleged diversion of N50 billion local government funds bordering on fraudulent award of contracts, misappropriation of government finances and siphoning of monies into private pockets.
Vanguard reports that the exercise would be a continuous process as one of the primary responsibility of the anti-graft agency is to prevent any financial crime before it is committed.
Towards this direction, states already neck deep in corrupt practices, particularly in the areas of the diversion of local government funds, may have to vomit whatever money they must have swallowed.
According to a source, these investigations started two years ago. “You know how difficult it is to get detailed information concerning matters like this; our operatives had to operate within and outside the states involved to get concrete and comprehensive information that could hold water in law courts.
“For example, Rivers and Jigawa investigations started in November 2008 and our men had kept tabs on those states since then and that of Imo State is not new. We have been on it also for sometime now; the cries of witch-hunting does not arise at all, people are just being unnecessarily petty.”
A breakdown of the alleged involvement of the four states is as follows and the reactions that trailed the arrests:
Jigawa: Alleged N15billion scam: The EFCC arrested five government officials over an alleged N15billion scam.
These men are still in the EFCC custody answering questions on their alleged role in the scam.
Gov Lamido’s reaction
In a briefing, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa said he was not intimidated by the action of the anti-graft body “as no amount of threat will divert me from my long time political philosophies for progressive change in a democratic process.”
He described the EFCC action as political, and an attempt to make him drop his personal interests.
Imo: Alleged N15billion scam:
Four key officers of the Ikedi Ohakim-led government of Imo State were arrested last Tuesday, while two others ran away on sighting operatives of the anti-graft agency.
Kwara: Alleged N12 billion scam. Two local government chairmen of Irepodun, Oke-Ero L.G. were arrested on Monday, while others in the list of EFCC were reportedly said to have embarked on the lesser hajj pilgrimage.