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SHEKARAU FACES ICPC PROBE OVER N420M FRAUD

By NBF News
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The immediate past Governor of Kano State Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau is to face investigation from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with an alleged N420 million fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

A Kano based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) had in a petition forwarded to the anti-graft agency alleged that Mallam Shekarau indulged himself in some unwholesome acts in breach of several provisions of the ICPC Act 2000.

The former presidential candidate of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) in the April 2011 general elections was specifically alleged to have committed fraud, abuse of power, inflation of contracts sum, double awards of contracts and other vices in gross violation of the ICPC Act. The petitioner alleged further that Mallam Shekarau engaged in diversion and embezzlement of billions of Naira belonging to the state government through an ambiguous expenditure known as reciprocal arrangement.

The ICPC investigators in their report alleged that Mallam Shekarau awarded the construction of an eleven-bedroom house for himself while in office to the tune of N286.4 million in gross violation of laid down rules and regulation.

He was also alleged to have awarded contracts to a company in which he had substantial interest, as well as paying for some furniture twice. Based on the petition, the ICPC team of investigators visited the state and uncovered a lot of financial malpractices in the award of contracts as claimed by the petitioner.

In the report submitted by the ICPC operatives to the acting Chairman of the Commission, a prima facie case was established against the former Civilian Governor. The report stated emphatically that the contractor handling the project was mobilized 'with the sum of N119.3 million on the October18, 2007 representing 50 percent of the contract sum, contrary to section 35 of the Procurement Act which provided for 15 per cent mobilisation for any form of contract awarded'.

Mallam Shekarau was further alleged to have ordered the release of several millions of naira to the contractor handling the project without referring to the financial regulation and ignoring advice from the state Ministry of Land.

Already, the contractor and officials of the Ministry of Works Kano State have made useful statements to the anti-graft agency on the issues raised by the petitioner.

Consequently, the acting Chairman of the Commission, Abdullahi Bako had directed that the former Governor be invited for questioning to answer questions relating to the issues raised in the petition.