Some vehicles have been seized from the residence of the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, in Gusau, the state capital.
Sources told Daily Trust that Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were impounded during a raid on Matawalle’s GRA residence in Gusau, on Friday.
Speaking on a local radio station, the governor had said, “Former governor Bello Matawalle had gone away with 17 vehicles from his office and those in the deputy governor’s office claiming that the vehicles are his personal belongings. In fact, not even office equipment were spared”.
Daily Trust cannot confirm the number of vehicles recovered, but a source said a total of four jeeps were seized.
Policemen were said to have stormed the former governor’s residence, which is not far from Government House, Gusau.
ASP Yazdi Abubakar, Police Public Relations Officer in Zamfara, could not be reached for comments as his phone rang out when Daily Trust attempted to get his reaction.
Also, the Special Adviser on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication to the former governor, Zailani Bappa, was also unavailable at the time of this report as his mobile lines were switched off.
Two days after taking over the reins of power, Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara had accused Matawalle of leaving with 17 government vehicles and looting property including television and cookers from the state government house.
“The atrocities are beyond comprehension, I’ve never seen crass irresponsibility like this one. But, with good planning I’m assuring the citizens of the state that we will do our best to correct the anomalies.”
On Saturday, Lawal gave Matawalle an ultimatum of five days to return vehicles allegedly taken away by officials of his administration.
Lawal, who gave the ultimatum via a statement issued by his spokesman, Sulaiman Idris, vowed to recover looted funds and properties of the state government.
“We have the facts and records available that expose 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 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) at the cost of N1,149,800,000. 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.
“We have communicated officially to former Governor Bello Matawalle and his Deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five working days,” he stated.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had said Matawalle was under investigation for N70 billion misappropriation.
But Matawalle fired back by accusing the commission’s chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, of demanding $2 million bribe from him.