By Suzan Edeh
Bauchi — Former Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and his former Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Alhaji Abdu Ilelah, among others, have been asked to refund over N700 million, allegedly spent from the security vote without valid documents.
According to a statement by Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar’s Press Secretary, Abubakar Al-Sadique, this was part of the recommendations of the committee on the recovery of public property taken without due process under the chairmanship of Air Commodore Ahmed Gamawa (retd).
The committee was set up by Governor Mohammed Abdullahi to investigate the activities of Bauchi State Agency for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, BASOVCA; State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from May 2007 to May 2015.
The former governor and others named are to refund N716,892,500 being the amount claimed to have been spent on security without valid documents.
The former Bauchi State Accountant General under Isa Yuguda, Alhaji Adamu Umar Gokaru, former Auditor General, Alhaji Abdu Usman Aliyu and former Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Abdu Aliyu Ilelah, have been recommended for sanction for alleged gross misconduct.
According to the chairman, the committee discovered that due process was not followed in the award of contracts at the State Universal Basic Education Board where N110,126,373.64 was released for the payment of October 2015 teachers salaries and the board utilised only N109,351,476.71 in paying 3,216 newly recruited teachers but could not account for the balance of N774, 897.47.
The committee also alleged that N858 million loan was fraudulently taken by SUBEB from Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc to fund projects already counter-funded by the state government in 2012 while the contractor that handled the contract of the e-library project awarded by the SUBEB in the Institute of Education, was the Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed Ibrahim and had not executed the project fully.
The committee said: “The contractor failed to supply and install the Integrated Science Laboratory equipment for which he was paid the sum of N4 million at the same Institute.
“The accrued interest of N79million from the fixed deposit account in Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc should be jointly refunded to the state government by the former Chairman of SUBEB, Alhaji Abdullahi Dabo and the former Chief Accountant of the Board, Alhaji Kabiru Malami Sidi while all signatories of SUBEB accounts be made to refund the illegal loan collected from Sterling Bank PLC as well as the associated charges amounting to N933, 604, 619.57.”
The committee also recommended that the Chief Accountant Local Education Authority Accounts at the Board, Alhaji Mohammad Alhaji, should be made to account for N774,897,47 being balance of N110,126,373.64 released to the Board for the payment of October 2015 salaries.