Thursday, April 22, 2021

Former lawmaker blames Nasarawa Assembly over N1bn looted contract fund


tiamin rice

A former lawmaker who represented Wamba constituency at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Bar. Innocent Lagi, has blamed the assembly for the missing N1bn contract for the renovation of secondary schools in the state.

Recall that the House had set up an adhoc committee to probe the 2018 contract fund which was allegedly embezzled by the previous administration, when the present Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Ahmed Tijjani, was the commissioner for education.

Speaking with DAILY NIGERIAN, on Friday in Nasarawa, Mr Lagi said that if the lawmakers had leaved up to expectation and carried out their responsibilities in the last assembly, such fraud and embezzlement would have been avoided.

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According to him, the people of the state are interested in judicious use of public funds, rather than waiting for funds to be stolen before initiating a recovery process.

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Mr Lagi, who was a one-time Commissioner of Justice in the state, said that the House went to sleep and allowed public funds got embezzled, adding that individuals and agencies whose mandate to stop the scam must be held responsible.

The former lawmaker urged the assembly to extend their probe beyond the present SSG so as to carry out a thorough job and bring to book anyone involved.

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“The investigation must not only be about the SSG but any other person that is culpable in stealing millions of naira meant for education of Nasarawa people must be brought to book.

“If the House has carried out its role, it would have been impossible for the money to be stolen in the first place. I believe we don’t have to wait until the money is stolen before we begin to cry about it.

“The house has its own problems. Fortunately, if they had performed proper oversight at the first instance, we probably wouldn’t have been looking for the money.

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“So, we have a House of Assembly that is filled with about 60 percent returnees from the previous regime who slept over the issue only for them to come back and begin a probe.

“As far as I am concerned, the House has not proven to be an agency of government responsible for check and balance, rather they are conniving with the executives to shortchange Nasarawa people,” Mr Lagi stated.

He, however, said the House could still redeem its image by doing the right thing now and ensuring that all monies stolen in the last four years are returned.

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