Government & Politics

Protesters Storm EFCC Headquarters, Demand Reopening of Investigation into Matawalle’s Alleged Fraud

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Protesters Storm EFCC Headquarters, Demand Reopening of Investigation into Matawalle's Alleged Fraud

Protesters from Zamfara State have gathered at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, demanding the resumption of investigations into the alleged financial misconduct of former governor Bello Matawalle.

Organized under the banner of the APC Loyalists Forum, the demonstrators are pressing for a thorough probe into multiple petitions against Matawalle, particularly focusing on the purported misappropriation of funds amounting to N70 billion during his time in office.

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Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC Director of Public Affairs, received a protest letter from the group and assured them of the commission’s commitment to pursuing all corruption cases to their conclusion.

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In May 2023, the EFCC announced an investigation into Matawalle’s activities, citing allegations of monumental corruption, including the award of fictitious contracts and diversion of substantial funds. According to the EFCC statement, loans obtained from a bank for developmental projects were allegedly siphoned off through proxies and contractors.

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Over 100 companies were reported to have received payments from these funds without delivering any services to the state. Contractors implicated in the scandal reportedly confessed to being coerced into returning the embezzled funds, converted into US dollars, to the governor through his aides.

Despite the recovery of some funds and questioning of several individuals involved, Matawalle has not been arrested due to the immunity enjoyed by state governors from criminal prosecution while in office. Despite losing his bid for re-election in 2023, Matawalle was appointed as the Minister of State for Defence by President Bola Tinubu.

The protesters’ demand for the reopening of Matawalle’s investigation highlights the public’s insistence on accountability and transparency in governance.

Source:
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