*Allegation is ridiculous –Ex-governor
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, says his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar, spent N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.
The accused has yet to respond but a spokesperson for him said the allegation was ridiculous.
The incumbent governor, who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with journalists in Bauchi claimed over N900 million of the money was spent on buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.
According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the common wealth of Bauchi State where billions of naira were siphoned illegally.
He said: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books. How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?
“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame.”
He added, “Government will take very, very stern measures; we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. It is an obligation: you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.
“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, and it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure. We’ll use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money. We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let.”
When Nigerian Tribune contacted the then-Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, he said, “That is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegations.
“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal.”