Why we arrested Biliri L.G Chairman -EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that the chairman of Biliri local government, Gombe state, Mr. Rabenson Zebulum Wasa was arrested in connection to a multi-million naira fraud case over which the council boss has been under investigation since December 2008.
The Commission in a statement on Friday said the clarification has become necessary to dispel sponsored reports insinuating that the arrest of the council boss was politically motivated and at the instance of Senator Ajuji Waziri.
According to the statement, “the Council boss was arrested on December 1, 2008 and granted administrative bail same day. His arrest followed a duly signed petition by Tangale Youth Forum, Biliri.
“The petitioners had alleged that the Chairman upon assumption of office in 2007, engaged in reckless acquisition of houses and cars with council funds as well as the use of council funds to buy honorary degrees and chieftaincy titles.
“Initial investigation had confirmed that the Chaiman did engage in the diversion of public funds to make cash purchases of houses and cars.Our findings had also established that the council boss had been using forged receipts to retire multi-million naira purchases he unilaterally made for the council in total breach of due process.
“In the process of investigatting the council boss, more petitions containing serious allegations of fraud against Mr. Wasa were also received by the EFCC. The fresh petitions are still being investigated.
“Besides, the council boss was granted administrative bail after his initial arrest and has been reporting to the Gombe zonal office of the Commission weekly and later twice a month. He has however jumped bail and refused to honour the Commission's invitation since the beginning of this year.
“All these, in addition to the fact that criminal charges bordering on money laundering have already been drafted to enable us arraign him in court next week, led to his arrest on Thursday 27 th January, 2011.
“The Commission therefore views insinuations of political persecution against the council Chairman as cheap blackmail and a ridiculous attempt to divert attention from a pure case of criminal investigation and prosecution.
'We expect those sponsoring this outright falsehood to spare their energy and resources to defend the council boss in court when he is arraigned next week.