Thursday, 17 April 2014
Governor Yero Silent On Embezzlement Of SURE-P’s N560m Fund
Several days after Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State was reported to have embezzled 560 million naira from the state’s SURE-P funds, the governor has remained silent, leading several critics to conclude that something must be amiss.
A source who is a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly confirmed to SaharaReporters that Mr. Yero had not offered any explanation or made a response about the report that accused him of embezzlement.
The source stated that the governor was instead using emissaries and other underground “diplomatic tactics” to get the scandal “swept under the carpet.” He added that some legislators were discussing ways of forcing the governor to give a full explanation for the missing funds and the bad image the issue has caused Kaduna State. The lawmaker disclosed, however, that some of his colleagues were unfortunately in Mr. Yero’s pocket.
Said the legislator, “Before the report was made public this week, [Governor Yero’s] godfather, Vice President Namadi Sambo, came to Kaduna last Saturday on a condolence visit, and held a secret meeting with the lawmakers, on the need to shelve aside their differences and support the governor. But the members still went ahead with their job to the chagrin and surprise of the Vice President.”
Another source within the Kaduna Government House also revealed that Mr. Yero was reluctant to issue a statement to the media. However, according to the source, “the governor has been working round the clock with some top aides and those concerned in his cabinet on how to contain the matter.”
The source stated that most of the Kaduna lawmakers were also not sincere, alleging that the hands of many of them were soiled by corruption. “Believe me, some of these honorable members making noise, they have dipped hands in the same SURE-P’s funds at the local government levels in the state. How can they stand up and harass His Excellency?” he said.
He added that residents of the state would be shocked if or when the corrupt embezzlement of the same funds at local government levels is revealed by the 23 local government chairmen.
In a report on how the funds were being implemented at the state level, the Kaduna State House of Assembly had indicted the state government on allegations of misappropriation of funds and the disregard of basic financial rules guiding the spending of public funds. The legislative report also alleged that John Ayuba, a former Kaduna State commissioner of finance (who now heads the Ministry of Water Resources) had procured cars at inflated figures different from agreed prices at committee level.