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How security votes landed Daniel, Akala, Goje, Doma in trouble


THERE were strong indications on Saturday that former governors of Ogun, Oyo and Nasarawa and Gombe States, Messrs Gbenga Daniel, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Aliyu Akwe-Doma and Danjuma Goje respectively, might have landed in trouble as a result of how they used their security votes while in office.

The first three have been detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since last Thursday, while Goje has been declared wanted by the commission.

All of them have been alleged to have siphoned public funds with which they acquired properties in Nigeria and abroad.

A top official of the commission claimed that Goje allegedly “collected a staggering N15bn as security votes during his eight-year tenure even when there was no serious security challenge in his state.”

The source added that the trio ex-governors in the EFCC custody also abused their expenditure of security votes.

This disclosure came even as the commission has prepared over 60 charges against the three former state chief executives in its custody, preparatory to their arraignment in court on Monday.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that abuse of security votes accounted for a major percentage of the N101bn, which the anti-graft agency said the detained former governors misappropriated during their tenure.

SATURDAY PUNCH had on July 16, 2011 in an exclusive report stated that most governors both old and serving, hide security votes worth billions of naira in the budgets of states in order to confuse their electorate.

Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State had in June this year, declared that security vote was another way of stealing public funds and distanced himself from such funds.

Also, his counterpart in Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha stunned observers when he slashed his state’s security vote from N6.5bn to N2.5bn, stressing that such a measure would free some funds for education and other areas in dire need of funding.

Kwankwaso who was governor from 1999 to 2003, had said, “Security vote anywhere is stealing. I don’t believe in it, I never applied it during my first tenure (1999 to 2003).

“And I don’t think I’m going to apply same now, because it aids corruption. I will like to lead by example, and the moment you steal once, your successor will double your record.”

In the 2011 budget for instance, the security votes of Kaduna, Ekiti, and Anambra States were not expressly stated. But Rivers, Imo, Lagos and Oyo States included theirs.

Among the charges the EFCC levelled against the detained ex-governors included reckless award of contracts that were improperly executed or not executed at all.

The spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said, “Yes, they are going to court on Monday. All the charges have been prepared. There will be no delay.”

SUNDAY PUNCH further gathered that properties scattered all over the country and abroad allegedly purchased with public funds, have been traced to the former governors.

As at the time of filing this report on Saturday, the commission was busy finalising checks on the properties traced to the suspects.

A reliable source who pleaded anonymity said seven choice property, have been traced to the former governor of Nasarawa State, Doma.

The source said these properties were allegedly purchased by his cronies.

She said, “Apart from the seven property traced to Doma, a property in London had also been traced to the former governor of Ogun State, Daniel. However, he recently sold the property and stashed the proceeds in China.

“We are trying to trace the money in China as I speak to you.”

According to the EFCC, Daniel allegedly misappropriated N58bn, Alao-Akala- 25bn and Doma N18bn.

On Goje, the commission said he had to be declared wanted after four different attempts were made to arrest him without success.

It was also learnt that a letter of invitation to him to report to the commission’s head office by 12noon on Friday was received by his daughter at his Abuja home.

His refusal to honour the invitation prompted the commission to declare him wanted.

The source said, “We are seriously looking for him and he has refused to come to us. We laid ambush for him in four places and we could not get him. When we went to his house, it was his daughter that collected the letter on his behalf but we have not heard from him.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC has placed Goje on its watch list and directed all security agencies especially those at the country’s borders to arrest him if found.

Babafemi said, “We took the decision because he is not cooperating with us. We want to stop his possible escape.”

But when reminded that Goje had reportedly promised to surrender himself on Monday, Babafemi said, “He is not inviting himself and he cannot deface our investigations.

“We are producing some people in court on Monday and he is saying he would appear on the same day. What is the correlation? We see that as a ploy to deceive us and evade arrest.”

Other allegations against Goje were that he recklessly obtained N37.9bn from 27 banks, with a repayment plan that would end in 2015.

Babafemi had explained that the commission arrived at the decision to publicly declare the embattled ex-governor wanted “after an endless search for him.”

On the allegations against Daniel, the EFCC claimed he diverted about N12bn revenue of the Ogun State Bureau of Land.

He was also accused of authorising payment of N300m electricity utility charges by the state Electricity Project Agency, despite direct deduction of same from different ministries, departments and agencies, among others.

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Posted by on Oct 9 2011. Filed under Latest Politics, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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