Sokoto Govt. Denies Wrongdoing in Transfer of N700m to Tafida

The Sokoto State government has said the N700m it allegedly transferred from the Paris Club refund to the account of a member of the Sokoto traditional council was done in good faith.
Alhaji Kabiru Tafida, the Sarkin Fada of Sokoto, who also acts as the chief of staff to Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad, whose account the money was said to have been lodged, was grilled by detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday and Wednesday over the transfer.
He was released on administrative bail Wednesday evening following what a source described as “unceasing pressure on the EFCC by the Sultan and the Sokoto State government”.
Giving reasons for the transfer of the said funds, the spokesperson to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Imam Imam, said in a statement Thursday that the funds were approved for the purchase of a “befitting” office and guest house for the Sultanate council in Abuja.Imam said all laid down procedures were followed in the process of the acquisitions. He said the amount was passed by the state House of Assembly.
“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,” he said.
The spokesman said following the approval, the office of the Secretary of State Government received three offers from different Estate Developers “which were vetted and assessed by the Ministry of Works and the State Due Process Office”.
“Following 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.
Documents attached to Imam’s statement show that the three firms, Fawad Nigeria Ltd, Efab Properties, Ltd and Korpic Limited were made available to the Government Houses in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja.
The document shows that the House provided by Fawad Nig. Ltd. Located at No. 16, Ontario Crescent off Mississippi Street, Maitama, was selected following a certificate of no objection granted by the Due Process Office on December 23, 2016.
Approval was then given for the purchase of the House at N659 million.
A state official had earlier claimed that “Tafida was just being victimised “.
He said the money was not transferred to the kingmakers personal account but a corporate account.
He however, said, Tafida may be one of the signatories to the account.
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, based on the fact the kingmaker is not known to have offered any service to the government.
It was gathered that, “the suspect has also been receiving huge funds from the government of Sokoto on behalf of the Sultan.”

Author: News Editor

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