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EFCC Grills Sheriff for Seven Hours Over Diezani Bribe

Ali-Modu-Sheriff (1)
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday grilled the embattled Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, from 10am to about 5.30pm.

It was learnt that Sheriff was interrogated at the Maiduguri office of the EFCC for his alleged role in the sharing of the $115m (N23bn) which emanated from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

During the build-up to the presidential election, N450m was said to have been sent to Borno State and it was received by a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil.

About N40m was said to have been given to Sheriff through Alhaji Mohammed Kumaila, a PDP chieftain in the state.

An impeccable source at the anti-graft agency told our correspondent that Sheriff, who is a former governor of Borno State, was released on an administrative bail and asked to return at a later date.

“Sheriff honoured the EFCC invitation and arrived around 10am. We released him on an administrative bail at 5.30pm. He has been asked to return at a later date.”

Sheriff is one among several PDP leaders in the state who have been grilled by the anti-graft agency.

Last week, Senator Saidu Kumo, who is the Special Adviser, Political Matters, to Sheriff, returned N2m from his share of the money.

Sheriff’s spokesman, Inuwa Bwala, refused to comment on the case when asked to react to the allegations levelled against his principal.

The embattled PDP chairman is still being investigated for alleged embezzlement of public funds during his eight years as governor of Borno State.

His government was said to have received over N300bn from the Federation Account between 2003 and 2011.

The money was said to have been mismanaged by Sheriff.

Sheriff was subsequently detained from June 3 to June 4, 2015 and released on administrative bail without being charged to court.

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Meanwhile, a former governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, illegally awarded a N1bn contract for the supply of dictionaries to secondary schools while he was governor of the state, according to the EFCC.

A prosecution witness, Salisu Abaji, said this before a Federal High Court in Jos where Goje is being tried for alleged fraud, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.

According to the witness, the ex-governor awarded a contract for the supply of dictionaries for over N1bn to Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board without following procurement process.

Furthermore, he was alleged to have paid 85 per cent of the contract sum upfront to the supplier, Real and Integrated Hospitality Company, as against the prescribed 15 per cent as contained in the UBEB guideline when he was the governor.

The prosecution witness, who is a former Secretary to UBEB, gave this testimony against his former boss.

He further submitted that one Aliyu el-Naffty, a former UBEB chairman, also an accused person standing trial along with Goje, awarded the contract the same day and ordered the advance payment based on the directive of the ex-governor.

Another prosecution witness and a former storekeeper at the Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Aliyu, concluded his testimony by tendering receipts of all payments made to the food contractor to the government during the eight-year administration of Goje from 2003 and 2011.

However, Abaji admitted he played a role in the award and payment of the said amount as upfront to the contractor. This, he did, under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Akintola.

The trial has been adjourned till October 4 and 5, 2016 by Justice Quadri.

Source: PUNCH

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