Ex-Gov Aliyu’s Aides Begin Refund Of State Funds – Leadership

Gov. Aliyu Babangida

Strong indications are emerging that some officials of the immediate past government in Niger State have shown the willingness to return some of the funds allegedly pilfered from the government coffers.

LEADERSHIP gathered in Minna yesterday that some of the officials found wanting by the Finance Committee set up by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello have approached the committee to refund hundreds of millions of naira to avoid prosecution.

A source from the committee who preferred anonymity told LEADERSHIP that the Finance Committee was approached by a key player in the erstwhile administration that he was ready to return some of the funds in his possession.

It was learnt that consequently, the former official was told by the committee to return the looted funds only on the condition that the exact amount taken is what he would return without hiding any amount from the committee.

Confirming the development, the chief press secretary to the state governor, Dr Ibraheem Dooba, said he heard of the development from the committee members and that if the former officials showed such willingness, it will save time and energy of the committee set up by the governor.

It was learnt that the latest development was not unconnected with the fact that the officials of the immediate past government in the state were becoming jittery following the call by the Niger State House of Assembly that a Commission of Inquiry be set up to probe the government of Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu from 2007 to May 29, 2015.

Although the spokesman of the immediate past governor, Israel Ebije, said when the call for probe was made, that the governor was not afraid of probe and that Governor Aliyu deserved commendation instead of probe, the latest development showed that the Finance Committee set up by Bello has taken a step to go into the details of the finances of the past government.

The deputy governor of the state also said in an interview recently, “We have to put in place a structure and establish undisputable evidence not only on the amount already in the public domain but others perpetrated through shady and hidden means”.

Also reacting to the call for a commission of Inquiry, the chief press Secretary to Governor Bello, Dr Ibraheem Dooba, said the government had decided to take two steps to achieve the same purpose.

LEADERSHIP observed that the latest development has, however, confirmed the position of the chief press secretary on the efficiency of the mechanism put in place to save time and stop distractions of Governor Bello’s government.


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