Shekarau

The ICPC is to investigate former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, over an alleged N420 million fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Commission’s Resident Consultant Folu Olamiti on Thursday and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.

It said that a Kano-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) had in a petition forwarded to the anti-graft agency, alleged that Shekarau indulged in some unwholesome acts in breach of several provisions of the ICPC Act 2000.

The NGO alleged that the former ANPP Presidential candidate in the April 2011 general elections, committed fraud, abused power, inflated contracts sums, awarded double contracts and engaged in many other vices in gross violation of the ICPC Act.

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The petitioner alleged further that Shekarau engaged in diversion and embezzlement of billions of Naira belonging to the state government through an ambiguous expenditure referred to as “reciprocal arrangement.”

The ICPC investigators in their report, also alleged that the immediate past governor awarded the construction of an 11- bedroom apartment to himself to the tune of N286,434,168.51 while in office, another violation of laid down rules and regulations.

He was also alleged to have awarded contracts to a company in which he had substantial interest, as well as paying for some furniture twice.

“Following the petition, the ICPC team of investigators visited the state where it uncovered a lot of financial malpractices in the award of contracts as claimed by the petitioner.

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“The report was submitted to the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Abdullahi Bako by the investigators, and a prima facie case was established against the former governor,” the statement said.

It said the report stated emphatically that the contractor handling the project was mobilised “with the sum of N119,330,955.91 on October 18, 2007, representing 50 percent of the contract sum, contrary to section 35 of the Procurement Act which provided for 15 percent mobilisation for any contract awarded.”

Shekarau was further alleged to have ordered the release of several millions of Naira to the contractor handling the project without referring to the financial regulation and ignoring advice from the state ministry of land.

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It said the contractor and officials of the state’s ministry of works had made useful statements to the anti-graft agency on the issues raised by the petitioner.

“Consequently, the Acting Chairman of the Commission has directed that the ex-governor be invited to answer questions raised in the petition,” it added.