Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State on Sunday said he has “concrete evidence” to drag his predecessor, Ibrahim Shema, before anti-graft agency, EFCC, to recover stolen funds.
Mr. Masari stated this while receiving the Emir of Daura, Umar Faruk, who paid him Sallah homage in Katsina. He said Mr. Shema would only escape from the hammer of the EFCC if he agrees to return the looted funds.
The governor promised that all stolen public money would be retrieved to correct past mistakes and bring sanity into the public service.
He alleged that the former governor misappropriated over N76.6 billion collected as excess crude oil allocation and diverted over N7.5 billion into his private pocket.
He also said Mr. Shema and other top government officials of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs connived and faked used receipts to divert over N750 million earmarked to purchase drugs for local government councils.
Mr. Masari said his administration was aware of media campaign of calumny sponsored by his predecessor to frustrate him from the ongoing probe and retrieving of stolen funds.
He alleged that more than N1.8 billion was paid by the former governor to proprietors of some newspapers for the job.
“No amount of intimidation will stop us from probing Shema’s administration. It is better for them to return all the looted money or face the wrath of the EFCC.
“We will run an open door policy,’’ he said, and solicited for constructive advice to move the state forward.
Speaking earlier, the traditional ruler advised the state government to give top priority to agriculture to generate employment and boost food production.
Mr. Faruk also called o the government to commence exploration of mineral deposits that were abundant in the 34 local government areas of the state.
He assured the governor that the people of Daura would support and cooperate with his administration to achieve its desired goal.