…More heads to roll over cash
By Soni Daniel, Abuja
After detaining three top officials of the Taraba State Government over the suspicious withdrawal of N21 billion from its treasury, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to pick up more suspects for questioning over the huge cash draw-down without following extant financial rules.
Saturday Vanguard learnt on Friday night that already, no fewer than three top officials of the Taraba State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had been taken into the custody of the anti-graft agency in Abuja in relation to the missing cash.
Those already in EFCC custody according to competent source, are a permanent secretary, a director of finance and Administration and a cashier all from the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs in the state.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is reportedly miffed that the suspects connived and breached financial regulation by withdrawing the huge sum of N 21 billion in small tranches of N10 million daily so as to escape scrutiny.
A top source in the agency said that those in its custody have been quizzed by its operatives over their roles in the cash withdrawal, which was far beyond their limit and that it was not clear if they would be released after they were taken in on Wednesday.
“The suspects need to clarify why such large sum of public fund was taken from the treasury and what it was used for in total breach of public service rules. Once they are able to do that they would be freed,” an EFCC source said. “Our men are still trailing more of the suspects and they need to give us more information about what they know about the withdrawal,” the source added.
When contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest and detention of the three key Taraba officials but declined to give more details about the cash withdrawal and when the officials would be released or charged to court.