BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
It was shock and disbelief in Government House Katsina at the weekend as Barrister Ado Muhammad Ma’aji, chairman of the Katsina State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Loss of Funds and Property, blew the lid off the N58.5 billion allegedly siphoned between 2011 and 2015.
Submitting the commission’s main report to Governor Aminu Bello Masari, he said the difference between the current sum of N58, 513,641,649.09 contained in the report as against N55, 984,273,521 in the commission’s interim report earlier submitted to the governor is “the outcome of painstaking and critical verifications of the figures when writing the main report.”
Ma’aji declared that N17, 968,309,502.09 and N15, 478,073,049.39 respectively were missing and unaccounted for in SURE-P accounts and the state joint local government account.
He added that the government lost N14.9 billion in Katsina State Road Maintenance agency (KASROMA) and N10 billion in the ministry of environment, Departments of Community Development, Special Duties, Girl Child Education and Almajiri Affairs.
“In one of such instance, 87 cheques of between N9m and N10m were withdrawn in cash on the same date. These transactions disgustingly by the finding of the commission took place on the 28th May, 2015, been the eve of the last day of the previous administration in Katsina State,” said Ma’aji.
Receiving the report, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, vowed to recover the money diverted during the immediate past administration in the state, adding that government would take immediate action on officials found culpable to prevent recurrence of the misappropriation.
He also assured that a white paper on the issue would be forwarded to state ministry of justice for necessary action.