Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State has claimed that the N6 billion discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) belongs to the state government.
The governor made this known to newsmen after joining President Muhammadu Buhari and hundreds of other Muslim faithful to perform the Juma’at prayer, at the Aso Rock Mosque, Abuja.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had invited a former governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Niger State, Kantigi Liman for interrogation over the discovery of N6 billion traced to his account.
According to Bello, the funds are believed to have been siphoned by the suspects through inflated Hajj subsidies offered by the state government to Pilgrims within the periods he (suspect) served as the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims’ Agency.
He also acknowledged the efforts of the EFCC towards the recovery of the misappropriated ecological funds by the previous administration in the state.
“I’m aware that the EFCC is investigating the ecological funds. At the inception of this administration we realised that the ecological funds disappeared.
“I did not have any evidence that it was utilised to address any ecological issues and we are faced with major ecological problems especially in Mokwa, Agaie, Bida, part of Minna, Rafin Gora and Mariga.
“We are doing our best to address the ecological problems. We need funds and unfortunately the N2 billion that was given to the state was not judiciously used to address the ecological challenges.
“If it had been used properly maybe our burden might have been reduced by now, but we are having sleepless nights over ecological issues and we are still approaching the Federal Government to assist us,’’ he added.