EletiofeMatawalle's appointees clarify issues surrounding alleged missing ₦70bn

Matawalle’s appointees clarify issues surrounding alleged missing ₦70bn

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Garba explained that the issue of ₦70 billion did not arise because ₦30 billion was for 14 local governments while the remaining ₦40 billion was for the state government.

Mohammed Bello Matawalle, the Minister of State for Defence and former Zamfara State Governor [Daily Trust]

The former Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning, Rabiu Garba, and former Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara, made the clarification on Thursday while briefing the media in Abuja.

They described the allegation against former Governor Bello Matawalle of the state as an act of mischief and campaign of calumny on the part of the present government led by Governor Dauda Lawal.

According to Garba, the state government terminated Avic International Engineering Nig Limited’s contract and asked it to return ₦4. 5 billion.

“The company’s contract was terminated and the company was asked to refund N4.5 billion for work allegedly not done.

“It is not true that money was paid without due process.

“They have revoked the contract illegally and it was awarded to friends and cronies of the current. government,” he alleged.

Garba further alleged that the contract was initially awarded for about N25 billion and had now been jacked up to ₦50 billion after the contract was terminated.

He said the company had taken the state government to court.

“As far as the former government of the state is concerned, we will not talk about it again.

“The contractor has the right to challenge the termination of the contract since it was duly signed and awarded.

“The allegation that the contract was illegally awarded by the former government of Alhaji Bello Matawalle is false.

“EFCC went to banks and asked about the contract we executed.

“The court stopped them from further investigation because they don’t have jurisdiction as it related to the state funds.

“The former chairman of EFCC came to the conclusion that the funds were diverted from the companies to private pockets without knowing that those companies executed contracts on various projects.

“But he came out to say that the state government diverted N70 billion to 100 private companies for his personal use, which is absolutely untrue,” he said.

The ex-finance commissioner explained that the issue of ₦70 billion did not arise because ₦30 billion was for 14 local governments while the remaining ₦40 billion was for the state government.

Dosara, on his part, said Matawalle left the state better than what it is today.

He alleged that insecurity had been on the increase since the present administration came into office on May 29.

He urged Gov. Lawal to concentrate on delivering good governance rather than engaging in unsubstantiated allegations.

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