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N23bn Diezani poll cash: EFCC detains ex-Gov Yero, Jonathan’s private scribe

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Abuja — The search for answers on how $115 million released by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, was shared ahead of 2015 presidential poll has taken officials of  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to Kaduna where its former governor, Ramalan Yero, was picked up and questioned, yesterday.

The former governor allegedly received N700 million of the sum and shared to himself and other top officials of Peoples Domocratic Party, PDP, in the state but the EFCC wants them to return the cash to the coffers of the Federal Government or face its wrath.

*Gov Yero of Kaduna State.
*Gov Yero of Kaduna State.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed, yesterday, that Yero was arrested and detained in its Kano zonal office by operatives, who had questioned him on why he received the money and went ahead to spend it.

The former governor, according to EFCC sources, was arrested in Kaduna, Monday, and taken to the Kano office of the EFCC where he is being interrogated.

His arrest followed confessions of two top party officials, Nuhu Wya (former Minister of State for Power) and Haruna Gaya (PDP chairman in Kaduna State), to investigators that they actually handed over the cash to the ex-governor.

Investigators said Yero, who admitted collecting the N700 million cash, however, said it was distributed according to agreed formula to the 23 local government areas of the state for the purpose of winning the last presidential election.

It was not clear at press time if the former governor, who was very close to former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, would be freed.

His arrest coincides with that of former Principal Private Secretary to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Hassan Tukur, by operatives of the EFCC.

According to an EFCC source, Tukur is being questioned in Abuja on his alleged offence relating to money he reportedly spent in a botched ceasefire deal with Boko Haram leaders in a neighbouring country in 2014.

Although the amount was not disclosed, investigators said they needed Tukur to shed light on other receipts from the office of the National Security Adviser which are significant.

Many key players in the previous administration have been hauled into custody to refund huge sums of money which they reportedly collected from taxpayers funds for personal gains.

Many of them have already been charged to court while those who have made refunds have been freed by the anti-corruption agency, EFCC.



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