The Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s secret police, has detained former Zamfara State governor and serving Senator, Abdul’aziz Yari, over N45billion reelection fund released under former president, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Authoritative sources told SaharaReporters that Yari was implicated by the detained governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who alleged that the former governor received N45billion from the CBN to fund Buhari’s reelection in 2019.
Emefiele has been in detention of the DSS since the second week of June after his suspension by the President Bola Tinubu’s government which is investigating him for “corruption-related issues and abuse of office.”
SaharaReporters had reported how Emefiele also named a fellow suspended head of agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as an alleged accomplice in the Naira redesign scam which rocked the country months ago.
During the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, Yari had remained “adamant” despite the zoning of the All Prorgessives Congress and contested against Godswill Akpabio – the current Senate President who is also Tinubu’s stooge.
Yari was the favoured candidate of the Buhari cabal to clinch the Senate Presidency but he lost to Akpabio who got 63 votes.
Sources told SaharaReporters on Saturday that both Emefiele and Bawa both implicated Yari, and the DSS had to come after him.
“DSS agents have being tracking him (Yari) since returning from London for medical care soon as he lost the Senate Presidency. The detained EFCC Chair Bawa also implicated
Yari in a detailed manner regarding how Yari was doing deals with Emefiele. Emefiele in turn accused Bawa of working for Yari,” one of the sources said.
Sources had insisted that the former governor was betrayed by “leadership of some opposition parties.”
One of them had added, “In saner climes, everything should not end with Yari’s loss in the red hallowed chamber on June 13, 2023. a postmortem of how Yari accumulated the humongous amount of money he used to cause division along regional and religious lines earning him the title of ‘rebel leader’ to borrow from Senator Shehu Sani’s succinct description of his posture is urgent and necessary. Even Akpabio should be investigated so it won’t be a one way issue.
“Yari started the contest for Senate President immediately after the declaration of his victory as Senator representing Zamfara West Senatorial District in February 2023. He particularly instrumentalised the Lesser Hajj of the last Ramadan (mid-April 2023) to meet and induce Muslim Senators-elect with mouth-watering bunches of dollars in Saudi Arabia.
“In Abuja, Yari booked floors of rooms at the Transcorp Hilton and Continental hotels for the Senators-elect through May and June 2023 escalating the cost of booking in the two hotels to a record high. It was widely speculated that Yari bribed new Senators with houses in the Karsana area of Abuja and was prepared to buy the votes of 60 Senators at 1 million dollars each.”
“To conclude, now that the game is over, Yari’s action against consensus should be treated with a strategic outlook to avoid the threat it poses to national stability in the future. Investigating the source of Yari’s stupendous wealth that he deploys to disrupt decency in political engagement is apt and timely,” another source added.
“A good starting point is retrieving his many open files since 2007 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and thoroughly screening his asset declaration form vis-a-vis his legitimate ventures.”
SaharaReporters had also in August 2022 reported how details emerged on how Yari together with the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris pilfered about N84billion and $2.2billion in the nine oil-producing states.
On how Idris, Yari and others illegally shared N84.7billion, an EFCC official had said, “We found out that there was an agitation by nine oil producing states on the depletion of the excess crude account without the payment of their 13 per cent derivation fund.
“This agitation was tabled before the post-mortem sub-committee of the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC. It was further revealed that the post-mortem sub-committee came up with a figure of about $2.2 billion as what was due to these nine states.
“This amount was to be deducted over a 16 months period, on a quarterly basis. 11.5 per cent of this figure, which is equivalent to N84.7 billion, was put aside for the payment of some public officials to facilitate this payment.
“Even after the determination of this amount by the post-mortem sub-committee, the service of Olusegun Akindele and Co. Ltd, a company belonging to the 2nd defendant, was procured under the guise of consultancy.
“N84.7 billion, which is 11.5 per cent, was paid to Akindele Olusegun and Co. through First Bank Plc. The sum of N84.39 billion equivalent to 9.84 per cent less bank charges, was what was shared among the various parties.
“We wrote a letter to First Bank Plc to get the statement of account of the company. From the statement of account, we found out that the first payment was on February 12, 2021. There was an accumulative payment of over N21billion.
“Before the payment was made, the balance on the account was N451, 631 and the source of the payment was from FAAC’s Escrow account. Investigation revealed that this account was under the control of the 1st defendant (Idris) and the 3rd defendant (Usman) who was the director of the federation account in the office of the AGF.
“Aside from this payment on February 12, 2021, my lord, similar payment of the same amount of over N21 billion were made on May 6, July 28 and November 5, 2021, bringing it to a total of about N84.39 billion.”