N6bn found in ex-commissioner’s account belongs to Niger state – Gov. Bello

by Dolapo Adelana

Niger Governor Abubakar Bello on Friday said the N6 billion blocked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the accounts of a former commissioner,  Kantigi Liman, was stolen from the state.

The governor made the disclosure to journalists after joining President Muhammadu Buhari and hundreds of other Muslim faithful to perform the 2-raka’at Juma’at prayer, at the Aso Rock Mosque, Abuja.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had said the money which belonged to a former deputy governorship candidate in Niger State, Kantigi Liman was discovered following a tip-off by a whistleblower.

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The governor, said the N6bn linked to Liman are funds believed to have been siphoned by the suspects= through inflated Hajj subsidies offered by the state government to Pilgrims within the periods he served as the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims’ Agency.

He also acknowledged the efforts of the EFCC towards the recovery of the misappropriated ecological funds by the previous administration in the state.

“I’m aware that the EFCC is investigating the ecological funds. At the inception of this administration, we realised that the ecological funds disappeared.

“I did not have any evidence that it was utilised to address any ecological issues and we are faced with major ecological problems especially in Mokwa, Agaie, Bida, part of Minna, Rafin Gora and Mariga.

“We are doing our best to address the ecological problems. We need funds and unfortunately, the N2 billion that was given to the state was not judiciously used to address the ecological challenges.

“If it had been used properly maybe our burden might have been reduced by now, but we are having sleepless nights over ecological issues and we are still approaching the Federal Government to assist us,’’ he added.

 

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