By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to stop “shadow-boxing” its chairman and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar.
The NGF asked the anti-graft agency to leave its chairman to face his job of governing his state and leading the forum.
A statement signed by Head, Media and Public Affairs of the forum, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, in Abuja, yesterday, read: “This is because our Chairman and Governor of Zamfara State, Dr Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, had for the umpteenth time told the commission that he neither owns a plot of land in Lagos nor owns or intends to build a hotel in Lagos.
“Yari had denied any links with a $3 million hotel in Lagos, which some online media attributed to him and, in fact, sued the publications responsible for that insidious report for libel.
“But for want of scapegoats in its battle against the National Assembly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission continues to drag the governor’s name in the mud in a veiled effort to divert attention from the matters of the moment.
“The NGF, therefore, urges the public to note that this is not about any missing funds anymore as the NGF would like to categorically emphasize that it did not, at any material time, receive any fund from the Paris London refunds on behalf of any state.
“All states funds were remitted to them directly from the federation accounts by the Ministry of Finance. What the NGF received, it must be repeated here, was monies due to the consortium of consultants, who verified the amounts due to all the states that were owed.
“Furthermore, the NGF would like to state that its involvement with the Paris-London Club refunds had saved the states colossal amounts of money individually and collectively because instead of the high percentages agreed upon by the individual states to their separate consultants, the NGF drew the percentages down to two per cent, which was paid to the consortium.
“The NGF is asking the commanding heights of the EFCC to instead look elsewhere for its real or imagined enemies and allow Yari Abubakar to face enormous task of governing his state and leading the governors of Nigeria.”