The Nigerian Police Force conducted a raid on the residence of Bello Mattawale, the former governor of Zamfara State. The raid was carried out as part of an effort to locate government vehicles that were reported missing.
This was made known by a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on his social media page.
According to FFK, the police officers didn’t have any search warrant or court order to justify their actions. He revealed that they acted based on the orders from the new governor, Dauda Lawal.
It would be recalled that Governor Dauda Lawal ordered Mattawale to return the government properties in his possession some days back.
Recall that Zamfara State governor, the newly elected governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, had accused his predecessor, Bello Matawalle, of stealing official vehicles from the Government House before handing over the state’s leadership to him.
Lawal of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Matawalle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 18 March gubernatorial elections. Mr. Matawalle who was seeking reelection.
In a statement signed by the governor’s senior special assistant (media and publicity), Sulaiman Bala- Idris, Lawal accused Mr. Matawalle of stealing the vehicles with impunity.
The statement also dismissed the explanation of the APC, which was made after the governor’s original allegation.
Lawal, during a radio programme with Vision FM in Gusau, the state capital, on Wednesday, said his predecessor sold all the official vehicles, refrigerators, television sets and other items in the Government House.
The APC had described the governor’s accusation as “frivolous”.
In a statement by its publicity secretary, Yusuf Gusau, the APC said some of the items the governor alleged were stolen could be seen around him at various events after he was sworn in, including during the swearing-in ceremony of his chief of staff and the secretary to the state government.
“We don’t expect a leader to be misleading the people because such are indications of an unserious person trying to hide behind mischief to defend his inadequacies.
But Bala – Idris described the statement by the APC as an attention-seeking and desperate face-saving attempt to defend Mr. Matawalle’s decision to loot the valuables.
He also said the statement was aimed at distracting the state government from undertaking positive projects in the state.
“Our government is determined to fulfill the campaign promises made to the good people of Zamfara State, which involves the swift recovery of public funds and properties looted.
“We have the facts and records available that exposed Matawalle’s impropriety. Where is the lie? A contract was awarded by the former governor for the purchase of vehicles to be distributed to dignitaries and other ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) at the cost of One Billion, One Hundred and Forty-Nine, Eight Hundred Million Naira (N1,149,800,000.00).
The contract for the purchase of the vehicles was awarded to Hafkhad Properties and Facilities Management Nig. LTD. The money was meant for the purchase of a Toyota Lexus VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V6 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V4 2021 Model; Peugeot 2021 Model; Toyota Hilux 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser Bullet Proof 2021; and Toyota Lexus 2021 Model.
“On the 4th of October 2021, the former governor paid MUSACO for the supply of three bulletproof Jeep at the sum of N484, 512, 500.00; to supply seven sets of bulletproof Prado Jeep, and Land Cruiser at the sum of N459, 995, 000.00; to supply seven Toyota Hilux at the sum of N228, 830, 000.00.
“On the 19th of May 2021, Matawalle paid for the supply of 30 sets of Peugeot 406 to TK Global Services at the sum of N61,200,000.00. Also, on the 15th of December 2021, Nadeen Butta was paid for the supply of one bulletproof Land Cruiser in the sum of N130, 000, 000.00.
“On 26th of February 2022, a contractor Dapiyau B. Linus was paid the sum of N160,000,000.00 for the supply of two Land Cruiser Jeeps 2021 model; On the 20th of March 2022, Matawalle government paid MUSACO the sum of N120,000,000.00 for the supply of three vehicles for the office of the Deputy Governor,” Mr Bala – Idris said.