EFCC Set to Probe Borno Governor, Shettima, over N600 billion State Fund
For the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, it is more worries aside the heartache which Boko Haram has caused him. There are strong indications that the anti-graft agency, EFCC, may have acceded to the demands of a petition before it to investigate the governor over alleged financial dealings under his tenure which the petitioner alleged leaves more to the imagination.
The Governor is being pressured to give account of over N600 Billion that accrued to the State Government since June 2011.
Already, eight out of the twenty two commissioners serving in the cabinet of Borno state had been earlier invited by the EFCC.
It may be recalled that the EFCC was petitioned over the misuse of over N600 Billion that accrued to the Government of Borno state, over which the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kaka Bashir Garbai along with seven other commissioners were alleged to have diverted on the instructions of the Governor, Kashim Shettima.
Of particular interest to the EFCC is the disappearance of over N400 Billion belonging to the 27 Local Government Areas, twenty of which are virtually not working as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, and there is no evidence of any work done with the money in any Local Government.
A verification of the accounts of all the Local Governments also shows that the monies that were remitted through the state government are not in the treasury of any of the Local Governments even as withdrawals on the Local Government accounts on a monthly basis were done for apparently no genuine purposes.
The case, which has been assigned to the investigations department of the EFCC, has extended invitation to both the petitioners and the eight commissioners mentioned in the petition.
It also involves claims of very high expenditure in the education sector even when all schools in the state have remained shut for over two years.
Investigations further revealed that a group loyal to Governor Shettima’s former boss, Ali Sheriff, may have started the processes of the probe of the Governor following a recent post on the social media that Ali Sheriff was being invited by the EFCC for alleged missing N300 Billion during his tenure as Governor of Borno state between 2003 and 2011.
The EFCC initially stayed action on the petition hoping to join the Governor, Kashim Shettima, should he lose the election, but having won the election and with the immunity he enjoys from prosecution, the Governor has been directed to allow some of his commissioners to be interviewed by EFCC operatives over their roles in the widespread corruption committed over the past four years.
The petitioners alleged that Borno state Governor Shettima has been using the displaced persons welfare, the general insecurity and other sundry non performing projects to siphon Government money into his pocket and that of his aides.
They said Government removes money from security votes, from the coffers of Local Governments and from the Ministry of Education, in addition to billions of naira in donations, all in the name of catering for displaced persons, only to divert most of the money for personal uses to the detriment of the displaced persons.
While praising the former Governor Ali Sheriff for leaving behind N64 Billion for Governor Shettima to build on, the petitioner accused the present Governor of squandering the money left behind, in addition to the N600 Billion received and even went ahead to take a loan amounting to N23 Billion in the last three months.
They argued that, except for a frivolous petition in 2009 when the present Governor was Commissioner for Finance and later local Government, which was investigated and dismissed by the EFCC.