Police raid Zamfara former governor’s residence, recover 40 govt vehicles

THE Zamfara State Police Command said it recovered more than 40 government vehicles from the residence of the state’s former governor, Bello Matawalle.

According to a statement by Sulaiman Bala Idris, the spokesperson of the state governor, Dauda Lawal, the vehicles were recovered during a raid on Matawalle’s residence residence on Friday, June 9.

Idris noted that the raid was executed following a search warrant obtained by the police.

“In the early hours of Friday, the Nigeria Police Force stormed the residence of the former Governor, where over 40 vehicles were impounded,” he said.

“The police acted on a court order and a search warrant obtained for the operation.”

The raid came after the Zamfara State government communicated officially to Matawalle and his former deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five working days.

The governor’s spokesperson added that the state government also lodged an official complaint with the Police over wasteful looting of valuables, including official vehicles, by members of the immediate past administration.

“Consequently, the Police sought a search warrant which was duly given by the court and hence raided Matawalle’s residence in Gusau, Maradun Local Government Area and another unidentified hideout.

“Over 40 vehicles were recovered including three bulletproof vehicles and eight SUVs.”

The state government reiterated its commitment to reclaiming all assets that rightfully belong to the people, emphasising the importance of the endeavor in the mission to rescue and rebuild Zamfara.

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It called for calm among the residents, assuring them of significant improvements in security and efforts to address the ongoing water scarcity in the state.

New Zamfara governor accused Matawalle of looting 

The state governor had during an interview in a local radio station in Gusau, accused Matawalle of stealing vehicles belonging to the state government.

He also said the former governor looted various public properties, including televisions and cookers, from the Government House.

“Former governor Bello Matawalle had gone away with 17 vehicles from his office and those in the deputy governor’s office claiming that the vehicles are his personal belongings. In fact, not even office equipment were spared,” he said.

“The atrocities are beyond comprehension. I’ve never seen crass irresponsibility like this one. But, with good planning I’m assuring the citizens of the state that we will do our best to correct the anomalies.”

Lawal, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeated Matawalle, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 governorship election.

EFCC investigates Matawalle over alleged ‘monumental corruption’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had stated that it was investigating Matawalle over corruption allegations, including the award of phantom contracts and diversion of over N70 billion.

The disclosure came after Matawalle accused the Commission’s chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa of demanding $3 million bribe from him.

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“The Commission would like to put the nation on notice to expect more of the kind of wild allegations made by Matawalle as those at the receiving end of EFCC’s investigations fight viciously back.




     

     

    “But the real issue with Matawalle is that he is being investigated by the EFCC over allegations of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts and diversion of over N70 billion,” EFCC Director of Communication Osita Nwajah said while addressing journalists on May 18.

    Accusing the governor of “monumental” corruption, the EFCC stated that it tracked down more than 100 companies that received payments from the claimed funds while there was no evidence of service to the state.

    The EFCC said that as part of the extensive investigation of contracts awarded by the Matawalle administration, especially for phantom projects in the local government areas, it recovered N300 million from a company, Fezel Nigeria Limited.

    It added that funds were traced to the Zamfara Investment Company.

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