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We’ll continue with N70bn corruption case against Tinubu’s Minister – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has assured that it will continue with the alleged N70bn corruption case against the Minister of State for…

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has assured that it will continue with the alleged N70bn corruption case against the Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, while he was the governor of Zamfara State from 2019 to 2023. 

The EFCC Acting Director of Public Affairs, Wilson Uwajuren, said this on Friday while addressing hundreds of protesters under the ageis of APC Akida Forum who staged a protest at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, calling for the reopening of the pending case.

Uwajuren told the group that EFCC does not close cases once it opens an investigation and assured them that their demand will be looked into.

“I want to commend members of the APC Akida Forum for this peaceful protest. It is within your rights to protest. The Constitution guarantees the right of free expression and you have done that today.”

“I want to assure you all that EFCC does not close cases. Once we open investigation into a case we will do not close such matter. So I assure you that this petition will be look into,” he said.

Presenting a copy of their petition to EFCC, Chairman of the group, Mallam Musa Mahmud, asked  the commission to reopen the investigation into the corruption allegations against Matawalle.

Mahmud said there are growing concerns about corruption in Nigeria, commending the bold steps taken by the APC administration in recent decisions regarding government officials suspected of embezzlement.

“Recall that on 18th May 2023, the EFCC, through its then Director, Media and Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah Nwajah, said that the EFCC is investigating Matawalle over allegations of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts and diversion of over N70bn.

“According to the EFCC, the money, which was sourced as a loan from an old-generation bank, purportedly for the execution of projects across the local government areas of the state, was allegedly diverted by the governor through proxies and contractors who received payment for contracts that were not executed.

“The Commission’s investigations revealed that over 100 companies had received payments from the funds, with no evidence of service rendered to the state. Some of the contractors who had been invited and quizzed by the commission made startling revelations on how the governor allegedly compelled them to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting the same to United States Dollars,” Mahmud said.

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