Abubakar Bello, the Governor of Niger State, on Friday while speaking to journalists after joining President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the Juma’at prayer at the Aso Rock Mosque, said that the N6billion discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in some accounts linked to a former Niger State public official were stolen from the State Government’s account.
The EFCC discovered N2billion in a United Bank for Africa (UBA) Account belonging to a former Commissioner of Local Government in Niger State, Kantigi Liman.
Another N4billion was also discovered in two GTB accounts linked to same Liman.
This brings the total to N6billion.
The first account belongs to Sadiq Air Travel Agency Limited and the second is his personal account.
According to the spokesman of the anti-graft, the money was discovered following a tip-off by a whistleblower.
According to the Governor of Niger State, the money was siphoned by the suspects through inflated hajj subsidies offered by the state government to pilgrims within the periods the suspect served as the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims’ Agency.
Governor Bello who commended the EFCC for its efforts in recovering the stolen money, urged the anti-graft to transfer the N6billion into the state government’s account to enable him do some developmental projects in the state.
“I’m aware that the EFCC is investigating the ecological funds. At the inception of this administration we realised that the ecological funds disappeared.
“I did not have any evidence that it was utilised to address any ecological issues and we are faced with major ecological problems especially in Mokwa, Agaie, Bida, part of Minna, Rafin Gora and Mariga.
“We are doing our best to address the ecological problems. We need funds and unfortunately the N2 billion that was given to the state was not judiciously used to address the ecological challenges.
“If it had been used properly maybe our burden might have been reduced by now, but we are having sleepless nights over ecological issues and we are still approaching the Federal Government to assist us,” he added.