May 3, 2024

APC Akida Forum asks EFCC to go after Defence Minister

APC Akida Forum asks EFCC to go after Defence Minister

Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

A socio-political pressure group, the APC Akida Forum, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the former Governor of Zamfara State and current Minister of Defense, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, over alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds totaling N70 billion.

In a formal complaint submitted to the EFCC headquarters on Friday, May 3rd, 2024, the group urged the commission to reopen the investigation into Matawalle’s alleged corruption activities during his tenure as Governor of Zamfara State.

According to the group’s chairman, Mallam Musa Mahmud, the EFCC had previously investigated Matawalle over allegations of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts, and diversion of over N70 billion, but the case was allegedly swept under the carpet.

The group is demanding that the EFCC revisit the case and bring Matawalle to justice, citing the government’s commitment to fighting corruption and the need to hold public officials accountable for their actions.

Matawalle has been accused of diverting funds meant for projects in Zamfara State and using them to fund his political ambitions, among other allegations.

The APC Akida Forum’s call for investigation came at a time when the government is taking bold steps against corruption, and the group is urging the EFCC to demonstrate its commitment to fighting corruption by investigating and prosecuting Matawalle if found guilty.

Mahmud said, “We formally request that the commission reopen the investigation into the corruption allegations against Bello Mohammed Matawalle, the State Minister for Defense.

“Some of the contractors who had been invited and quizzed by the Commission made startling revelations on how the governor allegedly compelled them to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting them to United States Dollars (hard currency).

“We want the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter and bring justice to those responsible for the mismanagement of public funds. This will serve as a deterrent to others considering engaging in corrupt practices in public office,” he added.

In response to the group’s demand, the EFCC Acting Director of Public Affairs, Wilson Uwujaren, assured that the Commission will continue with the alleged N70 billion corruption case against Matawalle.

“I want to commend members of the APC Akida Forum for this peaceful protest. It is within your rights to protest. The Constitution guarantees the right of free expression, and you have done that today.

“I want to assure you all that EFCC does not close cases. Once we open an investigation into a case, we will continue. So, I assure you that this petition will be looked into. Thank you very much,” Uwujaren said.