The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested leaders of Gummi Local Government chapter of Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, in Zamfara State over alleged diversion N5.4 million worth of fertilizers.
The arrested suspects include Ibrahim Rijiya, the chairman of the association; Aminu Musa, the council storekeeper; and one Abdullahi Bashir.
Tony Orilade, the acting spokesman for the commission said this in a statement released on Wednesday.
The commission arrested the suspects following a petition by some rice farmers.
They were said to have criminally diverted three trailers of 1,800 bags of fertilizers, and a truck-load of herbicides meant for rice farmers in Gummi.
Rijiya, who is also the District Head of Rijiya Gummi, Gummi LGA, was said to have sold each bag for N3,000 including other farm materials, according to a Punch Newspaper report.
Representatives of seven different groups of rice farmers had alleged that sometimes in July 2018, the federal government approved and disbursed 12 trucks of fertilizers and herbicides on loan to 83 cooperative societies in Gummi, adding that no member of the association received the items as approved by the government.
Also, efforts by the Gummi chapter of RIFAN to get the items back reportedly proved abortive.
EFCC investigations, however, revealed that Rijiya conspired with Musa to divert and sell the fertilizers and herbicides to Bashir for N17.1million which they shared among themselves.
“The suspects confessed to their roles in the crime while the three trailers of the fertilizers have been recovered from them. Efforts are in top gear to recover the diverted herbicides. They will soon be arraigned in court,” the statement said.