Gombe state which is known as the ‘Jewel in the Savannah ’ has made their mark in the short period of years they were created to be a state, from producing strong political stalwart to becoming a force to reckon with in the scheme of things especially in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.
Ironically, while the state has produced strong political stalwarts, strong treasury looters have also emanated from it, with Senator Saidu Umar Kumo standing tall in this regard.
Born November 1959, Saidu Umar Kumo was elected Senator of the Gombe Central Constituency in 1999 and was a well-known Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) stalwart and staunch supporter of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar before he decamped to the APC in 2019. Before his controversial move to the APC, Saidu Kumo and his counterpart Hon Nuhu Poloma were arraigned before the Federal High Court in Gombe on five counts charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
The duo were arraigned before Justice Nehizena Afolabi as the EFCC alleged the two politicians had conspired and received cash payment up to the tune of N450m from one Abba Sunday Agaba, a cash officer with Fidelity bank on 27th March 2015.
Investigation revealed that the transaction exceeded the statutory limit authorized by law under sections 18(a) AND 16(2)(a) of the money laundering act 2011 as amended which Saidu was fully aware of.
Furthermore, it was also revealed that the sum was allegedly received from former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. This was to be disbursed to influential political figures and electoral officials to facilitate and influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.
Saidu Kumo we learnt after removing N111million out of the N450million, instructed Abba Sunday to bring the balance of N333,500,000 to the cashier in government house where he allegedly gave N2million to Honorable Nuhu Poloma and kept N3million for his personal use while failing to account for N106million.
When arraigned in court, the duo pleaded not guilty to charges levelled against them by the prosecution counsel and was both granted bail in the sum of N10m each with two sureties in like sum.
Nothing more has been heard about this case since its adjournment in 2018 as the Senator is still freely going about his daily routine. It is not clear if the EFCC will ever follow up with the case since he has decamped to the ruling party like the case of Obanikoro.