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Goje diverted N5.7b refunded by FG, says Dankwambo

By The Citizen

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, has raised the alarm over an alleged disappearance of N5.7billion, being a refund by the federal government for some of the projects undertaken on its behalf by the state government.

The governor said the money could not be located in any of the state's accounts. Dankwambo, who made this disclosure while receiving a report by the committee to authenticate the pensions and gratuities liabilities of retired state and local government employees, however, suspected that the said funds may have been diverted by the previous administration of Senator Danjuma Goje.

As a result, the governor, who noted that the development had created a huge debt burden for the state, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to step into the matter and unravel how the monies suddenly developed wings and left the state treasury.

Dankwambo said he was privy to some of the refunds by the federal government as a former accountant-general of the federation, and knew how much was ordered as well as paid into the state accounts, more so directly from him being in a position to facilitate the payment.

'We have attempted to reconcile the contributions and refunds we received from the federal government. As at the last time, we received refunds in various ways; for roads, for airport construction and so many other things. Now, we cannot trace some monies to the extent of N5.7 billion. We cannot trace its whereabouts in the records of Gombe State,' he said.

Dankwambo held the view that the monies, having been diverted, had been kept in various accounts that the government was yet to locate. 'These monies have gone into various accounts. Some had gone into third party accounts. They have been diverted from the accounts of the state government.

'We will continue to reconcile these monies and at the appropriate time, we will take the necessary measures required to be taken by us. As the accountant-general of the federation then, I have my records; that I have reimbursed Gombe State in the excess of N10billion and N5.7billion has been diverted.

'I am therefore using this medium to say that immediately the committee concludes its investigation on this matter, the EFCC should report to Gombe State for the reconciliation of all the monies that were lodged in respect of refunds from the federal government into Gombe State account to the extent of N5.7 billion.

'While this is going on, we will continue to reconcile because everyday, it is a brand new story. Like today, I just heard that apart from the N23.3billion liabilities that were left for me, another N4.5 billion has been added. So, the liability is now N29.8 billion, all left for the innocent and good people of Gombe State,' he said.