Thursday, August 18, 2022

Contractor petitions EFCC over Kano LG Chair’s refusal to pay N14.9m contract fund

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A contractor, Mustapha Umar-Tallo has submitted two petitions to Kano zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, accusing the incumbent chairman of Gwarzo Local Government Area, Bashir Abdullahi, of refusing to settle payments of contracts and embezzlement of the local government’s funds.

Mr Umar-Tallo, who wrote the petition through his lawyer,  Abubakar Lagazab, also alleged that the Chairman had failed to settle the payment even after the funds had been released by the state government.

In one of the complaint letters, dated November 17, 2020 and made available to newsmen in Kano on Thursday, Mr Umar-Tallo accused the chairman of failing to disburse funds made available for payment of 20 direct labour contracts as well as 14 other projects in the local government area.

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Part of the first complaint letter read: “The 20 projects consist of a total sum of N21,907,875:00 (twenty-one million, nine hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five naira only) our client was paid only N7m by the Honorable Chairman Engineer Bashir Abdullahi, leaving an unpaid balance of N14,907,875:00. Attached herewith is the summary of the works and our clients consideration/money for your perusal.

“Additional fourteen projects were also executed by our client to which N10,101,368 was not paid. This brings the total of money due to my client to N25,009,243:00 and the Kano state government has paid this money a long time ago, our client will present all necessary documents to buttress his complaint”.

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On the embezzlement of public funds, the second petition, dated November 23, 2020 and signed by the same complainant, read: “Sir I have record of about 12 projects which were not executed but our Honorable chairman collected money from the Kano state government pretending to have executed it while it was not done”.

“In a total of seven projects mentioned by the complainant, the sum of N423,561,188:00 was allegedly embezzled without traces of any of the projects in place,” said the petition.

A source at the EFCC zonal office confirmed to our correspondent that the EFCC had since swung into action by inviting the local council chairman.

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When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the EFCC Kano Zonal office, Idris Nadabo, said he was currently on leave.

“I am currently on my annual leave so, I cannot say anything about anything,” he told the Punch.

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