For some time now, Mallam Isa Yuguda has always found himself in the news. At a time, it was based on the allegation that he ran the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) aground when he served as Aviation Minister. Of recent, there have been allegations that the elections that returned him to office as Governor were massively rigged. To worsen the situation, the Governor made a number of unguarded statements on the post election violence that claimed innocent lives. Street Journal has however gathered that the victory at the polls notwithstanding, problems are knocking on the door of the Bauchi State Government. No thanks to the bogus spending and financial maladministration of the Bauchi State Government under Mallam Yuguda. . Street Journal’s investigations have revealed that the Bauchi State Governor has begun to ‘plead’ with the officials at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] to soft-pedal on the newly launched inquiry into many of his financial transactions.
Street Journal also found out that the EFCC has written a letter of invitation to the Bauchi State Government through the Secretary to the State Government [SSG]. The letter is to invite five of the state’s principal officers for interrogation at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja. Those invited include the State Accountant General, the Commissioner of Education, and the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education.
The invitation has to do with a N2.8billion financial transaction conducted by Bauchi State Ministry of Education over a suspicious textbook supply contract awarded to Longman Publishers for a whooping sum of N2.8billion. The textbooks were meant to be supplied to the Bauchi State primary and secondary schools. The contract which was awarded last year to Longman Publishers reportedly did not undergo the required due process as stipulated by the governing laws. The contract was neither advertised publicly nor did it undergo competitive bidding. The contract was awarded to the company through the Governor’s direction to the Commissioner of Education. And interestingly, the payment of the said N2.8billion which was made in full was not paid through the Ministry of Education. Instead, it was paid directly from the Accountant General’s office through the instructions of the State Governor.
Sources within the EFCC disclosed that the invitation also concerns the illegal financial activities at the Bauchi State branch of Fin Bank where N1bllion cash withdrawals were made in one day out of the Bauchi State’s bank account domiciled there. The source pointed out that the anti-graft agency is interested in the financial activities between the Yuguda government and Fin Bank.
Street Journal gathered that upon receipt of the letter, the affected officials were struck with panic and they immediately informed the Governor about their plight. Calming the nerves of his officers, Isa Yuguda took up the case. He directly reached out to the top officers of the EFCC. Street Journal also gathered that the EFCC was ‘responsive’ to him enough to have moved the date of invitation to an undisclosed date. The interrogating officer placed in-charge of the case also pulled another joker by taking a trip out of the country unannounced.
Text messages sent to the Secretary to the State Government were neither acknowledged nor replied.
A Federal High Court seating in Abuja which has also begun contempt of court hearings against the bank for refusing to adhere to court directions as regards restrictions on the State Government’s account. Street Journal however gathered that Governor Yuguda has instructed the Banks to ignore the court’s restriction.