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Thursday, 27 July 2017

N700M was for purchase, furnishing of Sultan's residence in Abuja - Sokoto State Govt reacts to alleged EFCC interrogation

The Sokoto State government has responded to the alleged interrogation of the Chief of Staff to the Sultan, Alhaji Kabiru Tafida by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over a suspicious transfer of N700 million into his account from the government account.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Media and Publicity Imam Imam said the N700 million was for the purchase and furnishing of Sultanate Council office and residence of the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in Abuja and followed due process. He said the funds were captured under the state capital estimates of 2016 supplementary budget and 2017 budget. 

Premium Times earlier reported that crack detectives of EFCC on Tuesday questioned Tafida over a suspicious transfer of N700 million into his account from the Sokoto State government account. He was released on administrative bail on Wednesday evening following what a source described as “unceasing pressure on the EFCC by the Sultan and the Sokoto State government”.
Mr. Tafida was first invited to the EFCC office in Abuja on Tuesday where he was interrogated by a team of investigators. He was then asked to return on Wednesday for more questioning.
Premium Times source said the money in question was taken from the Sokoto State’s share of the Paris club refund recently made to Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. EFCC sources said they were trying to establish why the funds were channelled through the personal account of the Sultan’s senior aide.
The Secretary to the Sultanate Council, Alhaji Faruk Umar, however, denied any knowledge of the N700 million allegedly linked to the Sultan. Speaking to Daily Trust in his office, Faruk said:
"I am just hearing it from you, therefore I cannot comment on something which I don't know,” he said.
Imam explained further that: “The Sokoto State Government, concerned by lack of a befitting office and residential accommodation for use by officials and members of the Sultanate Council, approved within its capital estimates 2016 Supplementary Budget and 2017 Budget, the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200 million) and Five Hundred Million Naira (N500 million) respectively, provision and furnishing of of Sultanate Council office and residence in Abuja.”
"Furthermore, the Sokoto State Executive Council, the highest decision-making body in the state, via a resolution of the EXCO with number CC (2016) 5R of Wednesday, December 28, 2016, approved the purchase of the office and residential accommodation in Abuja,” Imam said.
“Following the adherence to laid down procedure, the process of acquiring the property was set in motion upon which some elements are now trying to make political capital out of it,” he said.
Source: Daily Trust, Premium Times


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