Two former governors of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda and his successor, Mohammed Abubakar, and their associates have been asked by the Assets and Recovery Panel set up by the State Government, to return funds worth over 1 trillion Naira, looted during their respective terms in office.
Isa Yuguda was Bauchi State governor between May 29, 2007 and May 29, 2015 while his predecessor, Abubakar was in office from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2019.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Lawal Ibrahim, who is a member of the panel said some of the items were found in Abubakar’s house.
Mr. Ibrahim said, “As the committee was rounding off its activities, it received a whistleblower tip of items being carted away and transferred outside the state by the family of former Governor Abubakar.
“The committee visited the house of the former governor at Fadaman Mada and was able to recover only a few items like 105 Pasta making machines, 10 sewing machines, a carton of surgical hand gloves and several office furniture belonging to the Bauchi State Government. The committee had earlier recovered four tractors, a luxury bus and a house belonging to the state government which Abubakar sold to himself. The house is located opposite Government House adjacent Wikki Hotel.”
Mr. Ibrahim noted that if the reports or findings of the committee are acted upon by the State Government, the two ex governors will return funds worth over 1 trillion Naira.
Speaking on the suit filed by the two erstwhile governors, Yuguda and Abubakar, against the Panel, Mr. Ibrahim said, “Yes, the former governors took the committee before the Federal High Court in Abuja and Bauchi State High Court. But the committee is responding adequately to the suits and will submit its report without hitches.”
Mr. Ibrahim added that findings of the Panel which include diversion of ecological funds and Paris Club Funds, amongst other things like delivery of only 40 tractors when about 500 were ordered, will be made public as soon as the State Government is handed the report.
Efforts to get statements from two former Commissioners of Information during Yuguda and Abubakar’s tenures failed.
However, the former Special Adviser to ex-governor Abubakar on Media and Communication, Ali M. Ali, said the claim by the State Government was “diversionary.”