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EFCC vows to reopen ‘N70bn fraud’ case against defense minister, Mutawalle of Zamfara


EFCC vows to reopen ‘N70bn fraud’ case against defense minister, Mutawalle of Zamfara

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Friday, vowed to revisit a case of N70 billion alleged fraud against the Minister of Defense (State), Muhammad Bello Matawalle.

The anti-graft agency had launched investigation into Matawalle’s tenure as governor of Zamfara State.

EFCC’s Acting Director, Public Affairs, Wilson Uwajaren, while addressing some protesters under the aegis of Zamfara Alternative Forum, who stormed the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja to demand revival of the case, assured that justice would be served.

Uwujaren added that all the high-profile cases left behind by the former EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, have been reviewed while promising that the case against Matawalle would not be swept under the carpet.

Uwajeren said, “I want to assure you that as far as the commission is concerned, nobody is above the law.

“What this Chairman has done since he assumed office is that he has reviewed all high profile cases that he inherited, and he has asked me to assure you that this case will not be an exception.

“Like others it will be reviewed and he is assuring you that something will be done under the law and no one is above the law and no case will be swept under the carpet. Be rest assured that this case will be revisited because EFCC believes that nobody should be above the law. If you have done something wrong and our investigation is able to establish that you have a case, we will proceed with the matter.”

Chairman of the forum, Malam Musa Sa’idu, who led the protesters to the commission’s headquarters, submitted a petition urging the anti-graft agency to reopen the investigation of alleged mismanagement of public funds between 2019 and 2023 when Matawalle governed Zamfara.

There are corruption allegations against some cabinet members of President Bola Tinubu.

Last week, the President suspended Dr Betta Edu as Minister of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation and ordered the EFCC to probe her.

This followed a nationwide outrage over N585 million which was allegedly paid into a private account in violation of the law.

A humongous amount is said to have also been traced to a company linked to another minister, though he has denied any wrongdoing and maintained innocence.