The Nigerian governors’ forum (NGF) says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is “shadow-boxing” Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara governor and chairman of the forum, for want of a scapegoat in its fight with national assembly.
In a statement on Wednesday, Abulrazque Barkindo, head, media and public affairs of the NGF, told the agency to allow Yari face his job.
It said the Zamfara governor neither owns a plot of land in Lagos nor owns or intends to build a hotel in the state.
The statement said NGF did not at any time receive any money from the Paris refunds on behalf of the states.
“NGF wishes to advise the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its chairman Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu to desist from this unnecessary ‘shadow-boxing’ and do the needful by leaving Dr Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar governor of Zamfara state and chairman of the Nigeria governors’ forum to face his job,” it read.
“This is because our chairman and governor of Zamfara state Dr Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar had for the umpteenth time told the commission that he neither owns a plot of land in Lagos nor owns or intends to build a hotel in Lagos.
“Yari had denied any links with a $3 million hotel in Lagos which some online media attributed to him and in fact sued the publications responsible for that insidious report for libel.
“But for want of scapegoats in its battle against the national assembly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission continues to drag the governor’s name in the mud in a veiled effort to divert attention from the matters of the moment.”
It said in the absence of a “fall guy”, the EFCC had consistently maligned the person of Yari even when there was no need to do so.
“Furthermore, the NGF would like to state that its involvement with the Paris-London Club refunds had saved the states colossal amounts of money individually and collectively because instead of the high percentages agreed upon by the individual states to their separate consultants, the NGF drew the percentages down to 2 percent which was paid to the consortium,” it read.
“Before then states had agreed to pay consultants between 10 and 30 percent as commission for recovering the over-deductions.
“It is, however, understandable that in the absence of a fall guy, the EFCC has consistently maligned the person of the Zamfara State governor and chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, even when the need to so do was untenable, ridiculous and absent.
“The NGF is asking the commanding heights of the EFCC to instead look elsewhere for its real or imagined enemies and allow Yari Abubakar to face enormous task of governing his state and leading the governors of Nigeria.”