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Police arrest five for ‘selling 30 borehole tanks’ meant for Borno IDP camp

Police arrest five for ‘selling 30 borehole tanks’ meant for Borno IDP camp
February 19
13:28 2024

Five persons have been arrested for allegedly diverting and selling 30 borehole tanks donated to the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Bama LGA of Borno state.

Confirming the development to TheCable on Monday, Nahum Kenneth, Borno police spokesperson, said the suspects were arrested on February 1.

“The report is confirmed. 30 overhead tanks were stolen at the IDP camp in Bama LGA. We have five suspects. The case was reported by informants who noticed some abnormalities in the warehouse,” Kenneth said.

“The police quickly mobilised a tactical team who swung into action and arrested the suspects there and recovered the stolen properties.

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“We got the report of the incident on the 1st of February. Yes, the suspects were arrested on the same day. Investigation into the case is ingoing.”

According to Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency publication focused on the Lake Chad region, the incident involved an official of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and two other government workers.

The publication said UNICEF provided 40 borehole tanks but the officials diverted 30, while only 10 have been installed at the Bama IDP camp.

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“One Umar, a staff of UNICEF, working in the WASH department in Bama, in collaboration with Ali Mala, from the Borno State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA), approached Abbah Toh, the SEMA camp chairman of Bama IDPs camp and Bakura Shettima of SEMA, with the deal to divert and sell the water facilities,” the publication said.

“Both Abbah Tor, Ali and Bakura Shettima accepted the deal but one of the camp officials who did not accept to be part of the deal, questioned them on why the items meant for the IDPs should be taken out of the camp to somewhere else.

“Umar (UNICEF official) told him that he was sent from the office to investigate the boreholes that were not working.

“The camp official took him around and told him that three among the newly constructed boreholes were not dispensing water.

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“He then told the camp official that he was going to transfer about 30 water tanks and iron stands to Shettimari Primary school in Bama town, and that others will be taken to Maiduguri, while some of the items will be sold to pay the transporters conveying the items to the destinations.

“The SEMA staff expressed fear and asked him to rethink the decision, but Umar insisted that the official should not worry himself over the issues as they had already concluded discussions with his boss, the camp chairman, Abbah Tor and Ali Mala from RUWASA.

“At about 2:43pm, Umar and his collaborators came into the UNICEF clinic to pick up the borehole facilities.

“One Kaka Lawan was already on standby waiting to pay in cash before the news started going round that some individuals had taken the tanks out of camp.”

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