Gov. Bello Reportedly Orders the Arrest Of Niger APC Chairman, Two Others Over Fraud Allegations - 9japarrot


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Wednesday 3 June 2020

Gov. Bello Reportedly Orders the Arrest Of Niger APC Chairman, Two Others Over Fraud Allegations

                                                        Governor Abubakar Sani Bello

MINNA – The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State on Wednesday climaxed with the state governor, Alhaji Abuba­kar Sani Bello, reportedly or­dering the arrest of the state party chairman, Engineer Mohammed Jibrin Imam, and two others following a petition over alleged fraud against them by the Financial Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Gbagbam.

But the party chairman, addressing a press conference on Tuesday, denied the allega­tion by some members, led by the Financial Secretary, and thereafter set up a committee to investigate and possibly apportion penalties on the people he claimed had raised false allegations against him.

The chairman dismissed the allegations of fraud against him, saying, “The pe­tition is fictitious and aimed at nothing but causing me and my family lots of pains.

“I have not even seen the petition because it was not made available to me to enable me to even defend myself.

“However, from what I have been told, the petitioner, who is the party’s financial secretary, is claiming fraud of no specific amount.”

According to the embattled chairman, “I can tell you that there is no money belonging to the APC missing. The pe­titioner is a signatory to our accounts, and we run the party administration based on memos and committees in accordance with party rules and regulations.”

Engineer Imam thereafter said a committee had been constituted by the enlarged executive meeting, which had local government party executives in attendance, to look into the matter and also determine if the party con­stitution had been infringed upon by the petitioners with­out following due process, and what should be done to his accusers.

The party chairman’s press conference was almost immediately followed by an­other press conference by the group led by the financial secretary.

The financial secretary insisted that Engineer Imam had a case to answer and that he should account for the sum of N300 million belonging to the APC in the state.

Idris Gbagbam accused the chairman of collaborating with the party secretary and treasurer to squander huge sums belonging to the APC in the state without records on how and what the monies were spent on, and without carrying him along in the running of the party office and accounts.

The financial secretary said he decided to report to the police purely out of personal conviction, between him and his conscience, not to satisfy anybody or group within or outside the APC.

“I was not influenced by anybody as is being claimed in some quarters,” he said.

Gbagbam added: “Trou­ble started in the 2019 general elections when, after collect­ing levies from aspirants, N15 million was withdrawn from Zenith Bank without record, memo, or approvals of the state executive.

“I drew the attention of the chairman to it and from then onward he started keeping me in the dark on party finances as I no longer receive alert from our banks.

“In fact, we realised over N100 million from party lev­ies during that period but that money was again squandered without records.

“As financial secretary, I do not have records of how the monies were spent.

“In all, the chairman, sec­retary and treasurer should account for the over N300 million, being part of the monies that accrued to the party without records of ex­penditures.”

The crisis, however, took a more daring dimension on Tuesday.

it was  reliably gathered that the par­ty chairman was detained at the police headquarters along Dutsen Kura-Gwari while honouring their invi­tation about 7.30p.m, and was released on Wednesday.

The state secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Liman, and the treasurer, Dr. Mohammed Shashi, it was further gath­ered, were also picked almost at same time, and they were all at the state police head­quarters, Minna, based “on orders from above”, to clear themselves of fraud allega­tions.

Imam was reportedly whisked away by some plain clothed police men few hours after an enlarged meeting of party executives from across the three senatorial districts, and after addressing a press conference in his office.

According a family source, who wouldn’t want to be men­tioned, “The party chairman was detained by the police when he visited the police headquarters on Tuesday night because of the petition, on the directives of the gov­ernor, for thorough investiga­tion of the alleged fraud.”

Meanwhile, Niger State Police Commissioner, Ada­mu Usman, confirmed that the police was investigating the APC chairman over al­legations of fraud by a pe­titioner, prompting also the invitation of Imam, Liman, and Shashi.

According to the police commissioner, “We want to find out if there is any sub­stance in the claims of the petitioners.

“The Nigeria police have, as part of their mandate, the responsibilities to inves­tigate anybody or criminal complaint from any citizen, and that is just what we are doing.”

Daily Independence 

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