State Chairman detained by Police
By Wole Mosadomi – Minna
A large scale fraud amounting to almost N1b has been uncovered in the All Progressive Congress,(APC) in Niger State which has consequently thorn the Party apart.
The State Financial Secretary of the Party, Alhaji Idris Mohammed told Journalists at a Press Conference in Minna, Niger State on Wednesday that several millions of Naira amounting to over eight hundred Million Naira were withdrawn and squandered without his record and signature in the past months which he said is contrary to the Party’s constitution and financial guidelines.
He said when he noticed the irregularities, he drew the attention of the Party Chairman, Engineer Mohammed Jibrin Imam it to put the financial records straight but his suggestions were ignored.
“As the Financial Secretary, I have no record of financial dealings; my duties as contained in the Party’s Constitution article 14:8 has been breached. I was blocked from receiving bank alert on the financial transactions of the party”. “When I resumed as the state financial secretary, I studied the Constitutional provision especially as it affects my Office and I prepared myself. All the records were ready, the ledgers, cash ledgers, files, and other things to keep my records, but to my dismay, my Chairman was totally against it, he said that I did not come to the Party to audit them and since then, I have been sidelined from carrying out my official duties.
“When I discovered the danger ahead, I decided to write a letter to the State Police Commissioner alleging lack of record for over Eight hundred and Forty-Eight million, Seven hundred thousand Naira (N848,700,000) received and expended by the party,” he declared.
He said besides the amount quoted, there are several Millions of Naira not banked, withdrawn, and squandered without his knowledge and approval by the Exco members.
“I am an ambitious man and I don’t want to dent my image now because of money. What I have discovered so far in the Party is the highest level of Corruption and besides saving my future, I have to save myself from EFCC and this is why I have to cry out officially to the Police,” he remarked.
He said the Party has several bank accounts but he is only aware of two accounts in Zenith Bank and one with Heritage Bank.
The Financial Secretary who reeled out several withdrawals made from different Banks with their dates of withdrawals said despite the fact that he was deliberately blocked from receiving alerts from the various banks, he was still privileged to know when the amounts were withdrawn.
“Trouble started when I discovered the withdrawal alerts of N15 million and N6 million from one account, and N9 million from another account in one day without my signature and not approved by the Exco members.
“The two accounts are domiciled in Zenith Bank. I was very surprised because I have no record, there is no memo to that effect, there is no approval, there was no working committee meeting to approve the withdrawal of that money.
“Averagely, we generated over N300 million during the council elections and that money was squandered without record because I don’t have any single record, even a single paper, I didn’t have any as record.
“I was told we have savings in heritage bank of about N300 million, that savings was meant for the Congress but the government paid for everybody so, that money was not touched and supposed to be there.
“Again, we raised N2.6 million cash in two days from Federal and State Lawmakers and was given to the treasurer but he didn’t remit the money to the bank.
“Similarly, we raised over N100 million during the election as party levies and this money was squandered without any record and we have 25 members from APC and they contribute N1 million each to the party and that money was diverted into a private account.
“There comes the LG Council Elections and the sum of N60m was withdrawn unauthorised on the 30 August 2019.
The Financial Secretary stated that above all, the sum of N40 million was received from the National Secretariat of the Party after the sales of the forms for 2019 general elections and it was paid into the State Chairman’s account and that nothing was heard about the amount till today.
Alhaji Mohammed, therefore, called on the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to intervene and investigate the matter immediately in order to save the Party from total collapse.
The State Government is yet to comment on the lingering issue.
Meanwhile, the State Party said it has constituted a five-man Committee to investigate the allegations.
Chairman of the Party, Engineer Mohammed Imam While addressing Journalists before being invited by the Police described the Financial Secretary as being mischievous especially for divulging confidential information about the Party to the Public.
“As I am speaking to you now, I have not seen the petitioner, we are all guided by our Party’s Constitution and not by emotions.
“For a member to divulge information about the Party without the Party’s consent and even went to the Police thereby reneging on the laws, it’s anti-party. All executive members swore the oath to abide by the Party’s Constitution.
“The Financial Secretary is mischievous, we have set up a 5-Man committee and he has been referred to them for further actions.”
However, the embattled Financial Secretary, the State Party Internal Auditor, and other aggrieved Party officials have described the committee as a Kangaroo Committee which they have nothing to do with and will not, therefore, honour its invitation.