An investigation by SaharaReporters has revealed that Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is the governor whom the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused of withdrawing N60 billion cash from the coffers of his state.
The anti-graft agency had about a week ago accused a serving Nigerian governor of allegedly withdrawing N60 billion from his state’s purse, saying this was done in about six in office.
The EFCC, however, did not disclose the identity of the governor, but partially identified the governor as domiciling in the North Central region of the country.
But EFCC sources on Monday told SaharaReporters that the agency could authoritatively confirm that the governor accused of withdrawing N60 billion cash from his state’s purse is Yahaya Bello.
Since the hint was given by the EFCC last following which it dominated the media space, SaharaReporters had commenced special investigation into the identity of the affected governor.
Over the weekend, with intelligence and court documents specially obtained by SaharaReporters, the newspaper can authoritatively confirm the affected governor to be Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
Further investigation by this paper confirmed the amount involved to be N78 billion at the end of the special investigation carried out by the EFCC's newly created Department of Intelligence.
The Kogi State government, in a bid to distract attention from the N29 billion local government fund fixed in a private bank and uncovered by the EFCC, had filed a defamation action against the commission before a Federal High Court.
In response to the action, the EFCC uploaded damning materials in response to the legal action of the state, forcing the state government to request for adjournment at the last hearing.
Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the EFCC had said the agency was investigating a serving state governor who had withdrawn more than N60 billion ($146 million) in cash since 2015.
In the latest edition of its in-house magazine called “EFCC Alert”, Bawa was quoted as saying that Nigerians would soon hear more about the developing sleaze story.
“Very soon, Nigerians are going to see some of the things that we are doing. I can tell you for free that the new Department of Intelligence that we have created is working wonders. They have come up with a lot of intelligence.
“In one of them, a governor in a North-Central state within the last six years (one individual) has withdrawn over N60 billion in cash.
“We are looking at all of that, and I assure you that at the end of all of our investigations, Nigerians are going to be briefed of what we are doing behind the scene on cybercrime, politically-exposed persons, as well as engaging government agencies to ensure that we have better processes and procedures on how to do government business.
“We are not setting out to be engaging with people on the pages of newspapers or press conferences. We are working hard trying to see what we can do behind the scenes [to eradicate corruption],” Bawa had said.