HomeNewsTinubu Asked To Sack Defence Minister Over $2.1bn, N70bn Scandals

Tinubu Asked To Sack Defence Minister Over $2.1bn, N70bn Scandals

A Kaduna-based socio-political pressure group, APC Akida Forum, has petitioned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over a purported $2.1 billion arms deal.

In a petition signed by its Chairman, Mallam Musa Mahmud, the group urged the President to sack Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, over his purported involvement in the arms deal.

APC Akida reminded the President that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was investigating Matawalle for an alleged N70 billion fraud while serving as Zamfara State Governor.

Matawalle was Zamfara Governor from 2019 to 2023.

The petition titled, “Relieve Bello Matawalle Of His Position As A Minister So That EFCC Can Investigate His Alleged Involvement In A Corruption Case Worth N70 Billion And The $2.1 Billion Arms Deal,” is dated April 15, 2024.

Part of the petition reads, “During his tenure, there were allegations of mismanagement of public funds and resources.

“Recall that on the 18th May 2023, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), through its then Director, Media and Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah Nwajah, said that the EFCC is investigating Matawalle over allegations of monumental corruption, award of phantom contracts and diversion of over N70 billion.

“According to the EFCC, the money, which was sourced as a loan from an old- generation bank, purportedly for the execution of projects across the local government areas of the state, was allegedly diverted by the Governor through proxies and contractors who received payment for contracts that were not executed.

“The Commission’s investigations revealed that over 100 companies had received payments from the funds, with no evidence of service rendered to the state.

“Some of the contractors who had been invited and quizzed by the Commission made startling revelations on how the Governor allegedly compelled them to return the funds received from the state coffers back to him through his aides after converting the same to United States Dollars (hard currency).

“The companies confirmed that they did not render any service to Zamfara State. Still, they were allegedly directed to convert the monies paid to them into United States Dollars (hard currency) and return them to the state Governor through some of his commissioners, notably those in charge of Finance and Local Government Affairs.”

Regarding the $2.1 billion arms deal, the group noted that Matawalle “is on the list of dishonorable Nigerians and companies that benefitted from the former NSA’s $2.1b Arms Deal Scandal.

“Bello Matawalle is unfit in the Renewed Hope Cabinet. He was indicted and the first to be listed among individuals and companies that received payments without contractual agreements from Security funds in the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. EFCC has the evidence.

“The APC AKIDA Forum is appealing to Mr. President to allow the EFCC to continue investigating the alleged mismanagement of public funds by Bello Mohammed Matawalle during his tenure as the Governor of Zamfara State and his involvement in the famous arms deal scandal.

“As party loyalists, we want the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter and bring those responsible for the mismanagement of public funds to justice. This will serve as a deterrent to others considering engaging in corrupt practices in public office, especially in addition to what happened to the humanitarian minister.”




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