June 25, 2022

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Abdulaziz Yari, former governor of Zamfara state.

A senior official of the commission confirmed the development to TheCable on Sunday.

The former governor was arrested over alleged fraud relating to the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

A N20 billion “SURE-P refund” was allegedly cooked up by Ahmed Idris, the suspended accountant-general, to move money to Yari.

The money was said to have disappeared without trace. SURE-P, set up during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was focused on re-investing fuel subsidy funds into infrastructural projects and empowerment schemes for the unemployed and unskilled.

Yari’s arrest comes days after Idris was arrested by EFCC operatives over alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80 billion. The anti-graft agency had also said Idris failed to respond to invitations by the commission to answer questions over the allegation.

“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates,” EFCC had said in a statement.

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”

Days after Idris’ arrest, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, announced the suspension of the accountant-general.

The finance minister had said the suspension, which was “without pay”, was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Meanwhile, the report on Yari’s arrest by the commission comes hours after he secured the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to represent Zamfara west senatorial district in the 2023 general election.

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