$181m scam: PDP advises Niger governor to declare assets public before EFCC arrives

By Priscilla Campbell, Minna

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has challenged Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to publicly declare his assets between 2015 and 2019 before inviting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into the $181 million loan unaccounted for.

The governor had on Wednesday invited the EFCC to wade into the issue of the $181 million Islamic Development Bank loan meant for fixing the Minna-Bida road that former Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu alleged was released to the state's account and spent by Bello's administration.
But the governor denied and said that the money was not released to the state as claimed by his predecessor, insisting that only the EFCC could clear the air whether the money was released or not.

According to Governor Bello, "For this, we are inviting the EFCC to come and probe this government and the other governments to see who is lying among us. But I still say that we did not meet anything in the account. EFCC should come and find out if the money had been released from that time till now."
But, the PDP through its Legal Adviser, Isah Mustapha on Saturday said that the invitation even though dubious and auspicious was a welcome development.
It stated: "Governor Sani Bello should throw his asset declaration form for 2015 and 2019 open to the general public for scrutiny, or hasn't he been paraded on several news fronts as the richest Governor in Nigeria? What business does he do to earn so much?
"Before the EFCC arrives, we challenge Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to throw the state accounts open, let the people know what he did with the hundreds of billions of naira that have accrued to the state in the past five years with no single project commenced or commissioned.
Mustapha said that if he was transparent, all he needed to do was to commission just one project worth N2 billion or N3 billion.
"The PDP finds it funny and dubious that a simple act of integrity has not been obeyed; talk more of inviting EFCC to check for $181 million Islamic Development Bank Loan."

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