My predecessor, Shema’s govt looted N50.5 billion – Gov. Masari

Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has vowed to use all legal means to recover N50.5 billion allegedly looted by the immediate past administration ex-Gov. Ibrahim Shema.

Mr. Masari made this vow in Katsina on Saturday while receiving the Report of the Commission of Inquiry that investigated the whereabouts of some funds and property under Shema’s administration.

“Now that the commission of inquiry has established that over N50.5 billion is looted, we shall use all legal means to recover the money,” the governor said.

“The looted funds belong to the people of Katsina state and we are ready to follow due process in the courts to retrieve the money from the officials of the past administration.

“The people of Katsina state need the money back so that it can be used to provide social amnesties to them.

“We are determined to retrieve the funds from those that looted same and no amount of legal huddles will prevent us from collecting the state money.

“The commission of inquiry has used legal procedures to unearth the financial scandals from the documents that were presented before it.

“The State Government will use the facts that were presented before the commission of inquiry to prosecute those that committed the offence.

“The Katsina state government has no intention to leave the money. All those involved will have to return the money,” he said.

The governor said those involved had tried to stop the commission from sitting and caused the disqualification of Justice Mohammed Surajo, the former Chairman of the commission by an appeal court in Kaduna.

Mr. Masari said the state government was determined to continue with the sitting of the commission.

The chairman of the Commission, Ado Mohammed, said the panel it received 12 memoranda.

Mr. Mohammed added that three of the memoranda were abandoned by the writers while two were disqualified for lack of relevance to the investigation.

The chairman said eight of the memoranda were useful to the commission as they had revealed how state funds were diverted by the officials of the past administration.

“During the six months of the commission’s sitting, it discovered that N50.5 billion belonging to the Katsina Government had been diverted by ex-Gov. Shema and his cohorts.

“The commission discovered concrete evidences that indicated that the funds had been diverted as they were not in the state government accounts as the records of the handing over notes had indicated.

“The commission went through the handing over notes where the monies were allegedly available but we could not trace them,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed commended the Katsina state government for giving them the opportunity to serve.

NAN reports that the Katsina state government set up the panel to investigate the alleged missing funds within the last nine months of former Gov. Shema’s administration.

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