The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its chairman Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu to desist from this unnecessary “shadow-boxing” and do the needful by leaving Dr Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar Governor of Zamfara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, to face his job.
A statement by NGF Spokesman Abulrazque B. Barkindo accused the EFCC consistently maligning Yari. “The EFCC has consistently maligned the person of the Zamfara State governor and Chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, even when the need to so do was untenable, ridiculous and absent” the statement said.
Recounting Yari’s travails, NGF said “our chairman and governor of Zamfara State Dr Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar had for the umpteenth time told the commission that he neither owns a plot of land in Lagos nor owns or intends to build a hotel in Lagos.
“Yari had denied any links with a $3million hotel in Lagos which some online media attributed to him and in fact sued the publications responsible for that insidious report for libel. But for want of scapegoats in its battle against the National Assembly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission continues to drag the governor’s name in the mud in a veiled effort to divert attention from the matters of the moment.
“The NGF therefore urges the public to note that this is not about any missing funds anymore as the NGF would like to categorically emphasize that it did not, at any material time, receive any funds from the Paris London refunds on behalf of any states.
NGF said “All states funds were remitted to them directly from the federation accounts by the Ministry of Finance. What the NGF received, it must be repeated here, was monies due to the consortium of consultants who verified the amounts due to all the states that were owed.
“Furthermore, the NGF would like to state that its involvement with the Paris-London Club refunds had saved the states colossal amounts of money individually and collectively because instead of the high percentages agreed upon by the individual states to their separate consultants, the NGF drew the percentages down to 2% which was paid to the consortium.
“Before then states had agreed to pay consultants between 10 and 30 % as commission for recovering the over-deductions.
“It is however understandable that in the absence of a fall guy, the EFCC has consistently maligned the person of the Zamfara State governor and Chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, even when the need to so do was untenable, ridiculous and absent.
“The NGF is asking the commanding heights of the EFCC to instead look elsewhere for its real or imagined enemies and allow Yari Abubakar to face enormous task of governing his state and leading the governors of Nigeria.”