Sunday , November 27 2022

ASTUTE LOOTER: HOW FMR GOV OF BAUCHI STATE EMBEZZLED OVER N212 BILLION NAIRA FROM STATE’S COFFERS IN 8 YEARS

Secret Reporters

Considered a star politician by the northern oligarchs such that the then President Late Umaru Yar’Adua, gave his third daughter Nafisa, to him as his fourth wife in October 2007, Isa Yuguda’s corruption track record has grown steadily to an endemic level with assorted nauseating manifestations in his State.

Anti-corruption agencies who barraged television screens and social media platforms with his trial, seem to have become complacent in prosecuting him perhaps due to his move to the ruling party or a marching order from the supposed cabals.

SecretReporters learnt that Isa Yuguda’s trouble started when a high-powered committee set up by the Bauchi State government to carry out forensic audit of all major contracts awarded by his administration from June 2007 to May 2015 as it concerns the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Bauchi Specialist Hospital, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies indicted him on account of over N212,000,000,000 (Two Hundred and Twelve Billion Naira) expended by his administration within the period under review.

Findings by the forensic audit report showed that the amounts expended by the Governor in executing projects was not in tandem with the records of amounts accrued to the state from June 2007 to May 2015 from the Federation accounts as contained in documents obtained from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Having successfully sidelined the 23 elected local government chairmen and singlehandedly coordinating all financial affairs in the LGAs, Isa Yuguda in collaboration with some Commissioners for Local Government Affairs, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries and Accountants General or their representatives who were signatories to the Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) accounts allegedly diverted over N16billion to their private pockets from the N212 billion probably as their share of the national cake. This was allegedly facilitated through illegal and unjustified cash withdrawals from accounts belonging to the Ministry for Local Government Affairs by the Cashier of JAAC Mohammed Musa, who was purported to be acting in line with the instructions of the Isa Yuguda.

Learning from the corrupt mentor, it was alleged that most public officers began scampering for their share of the pillage as more findings by the forensic committee showed that the former Commissioners in the Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Idris Halilu and Abubakar Ahmed Faggo, retired Permanent Secretaries, Ado Santurakin Pali and Hudu Yunusa Ari, Special Advisers, in the Ministry for Local Government Affairs, former Accountants General and their representatives who were co-signatories to the JAAC accounts also allegedly diverted over N3,500,000,000 (Three Billion Five Hundred Million Naira) to their pockets.

Additionally, it was discovered that within the same period, the Ministry for Local Government Affairs which was also clearly been remotely controlled by Yuguda, made huge payments to the tune of N96,000,000,000 (Ninety-Six Billion Naira) without appropriate payment vouchers.

As though been remotely controlled by a cabals, more findings revealed that Isa Yuguda brazenly took fraudulent loans to the tune of N14,000,000,000 (Fourteen Billion Naira) from FIN bank Bauchi State branch and approved a whopping N2,500,000,000 (Two Billion Five Hundred Thousand Naira) for the refurbishment of College of Islamic studies Bauchi.

Another glaring fraud by Isa and his cohorts christened ‘broad daylight fraud’ by experts, was a project for the refurbishment and expansion of Sa’ad Zungur Primary School, Bauchi awarded to M/S Current MEC Engineering LTD for an initial amount of N800,000,000 but later upgraded to N1,100,000,000 (One Billion One Hundred Million) on request of the company.

However, estimates by experts showed that the school which was been expanded to accommodate about 3000 to 5000 pupils should not have exceeded about N150million.

It was gathered that a separate committee set up to recover stolen assets from those who served under Isa’s administration by the Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar led administration, allegedly recovered 22 vehicles from Yuguda’s wives and an Embraer 145 aircraft worth N4.12 billion hidden in Morocco, among others. It was also alleged that the astute looter secretly stashed away N600 million in a FIN Bank account under the name Excalibre, which is a private company owned by him.

Isa Yuguda who did not spare any sector of the state from his looting antics also spread his net to the health sector as he allegedly awarded fictitious contracts worth over N1.55 Billion in respect of construction of Bauchi Specialist Hospital, and the supply, delivery, and installation of hospital equipment at the new Bauchi Specialist Hospital to Current Mechanical Eng., Accrom Services, Sahnazal International, Eagle Construction, Louizoni Ferreti Enterprises, and Yima Nigeria Limited respectively.

In the expenditure of Security Vote in the office of Secretary to the Government of Bauchi State, the committee’s report showed that Yuguda allegedly embezzled over N4,000,000,000 (Four Billion Naira) and diverted same to his private pockets.

Exerting the powers of his office, the former Governor through one Bahijja Mahmoud and Aisha Mahmoud also allegedly cornered another N22,000,000 (Twenty-Two Million Naira) meant for the construction of Bauchi Skills Acquisition Centre under the Agency for Orphans through direct labour.

Sources reveal that Isa Yuguda’s thread mark in all MDAs investigated ranges from the non-completion of projects, non-execution of projects despite full or part-payments, over-inflated cost of projects, poorly executed projects or non-adherence to due process in its award, and in worst cases, overpayment of contractors without any acceptable reason or explanation.

With these and many other unreported monumental frauds allegedly perpetuated by Isa Yuguda and his collaborators, no progress has been made with his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2017 apparently due to his announcement of planned defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2016 and his eventual movement in December 2018.

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