The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] and the Bauchi state Governor Elect, Bala Mohammed has said that the outgoing Governor of the state, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar has employed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to stop him [Mohammed] from probing his administration over alleged corruption.
Bala Mohammed “And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility,” stated the Governor Elect Bala Mohammed in a recent interview while reacting to the revelation of an alleged gruesome scale of corruption uncovered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Mohammed said the recent application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] against him stems out of the threat to probe the financial crimes of the outgoing Governor, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar. Mohammed is due to appear in court today at Court 26 FCT High Court Maitama in Abuja to face charges bordering on false declaration of assets to the EFCC.
According to the EFCC, the Governor Elect failed to declare all his assets in his previous trials with them. They claimed the EFCC had found new information against the Governor Elect. The EFCC in turn has filed a six count charge. But he said the outgoing Governor seems to be the arrow head spearheading the sudden EFCC interest in the Governor Elect.
Governor Abubakar who had initially accepted defeat and congratulated the winner of the Bauchi State gubernatorial elections – immediately following the conclusion of the elections – allegedly turned around and withdrew his congratulatory message and headed to the election tribunal shortly after Bala Mohammed pledged to probe the activities of the Abubakar administration.
It is recalled that Bala Mohammed while serving as the FCT Minister was one of the staunchest supporters of the former President Goodluck Jonathan. Bala Mohammed’s remarks to the continued harassment by the EFCC sums it up. “It is completely politically-motivated but I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice.
Definitely! Because of the evidence that we have, he is going to be thoroughly probed because I have not been spared by the Federal Government. “I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.” Meanwhile, some forces within the ruling party, according to Mohammed’s media team, have perfected plots to smear the reputation of the Bauchi State Governor-Elect, Senator Bala Mohammed using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and a section of the media as pliable tools.
The modus operandi of the forces, according to the media team, is to dust up old and abandoned cases against the governor-elect with the EFCC and brandish them as fresh cases all in a desperate bid to blackmail him and deflate his soaring popularity in Bauchi State.
The media team, in a statement, said, “already, a Lagos-based newspaper belonging to a notorious APC overlord in Lagos on Sunday published a banner story alleging that the EFCC has filed a new criminal charge against the Governor-Elect at the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] High Court whereas what was pending at the court is an old case for which the prosecution has not been able to convict the immediate past FCT Minister.”
The team said a source it spoke with on Sunday night expressed surprise on why the EFCC and a section of the media allowed themselves to be used as tools by politicians who had been rejected at the polls by the people. “There is no new case filed by the EFCC against the Governor-Elect at the court.
What they are bandying about now is an old case. Suit Number CR/177/17 which they syndicated to journalists today [Sunday] is an old case which has been there for about two years and virtually abandoned by the commission for lack of clear facts and evidence.
“It is the same case in which the judge had earlier ordered them to pay the Governor-Elect N5 million as damage for an infringement on his fundamental human right. He defeated them before and they are merely reviving the case as a tool for blackmail.”
Concerning the issue of the house in Asokoro, the source added that “it was secured through mortgage arrangement with Aso Savings and Loans Limited and not ‘gratification’ as mischievously claimed in the newspaper report.” He pointed out that “there was a valid court judgment on the matter as shown in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/2016.
The court recognized the validity of the mortgage arrangement between Senator Mohammed and Aso Savings and Loans Limited on the property in Asokoro,” adding that the agreement was still subsisting. According to the source, “all these frenzy to arraign the Governor-Elect is simply because he defeated the candidate of the APC in the Bauchi State governorship election.” “The whole fury and hullabaloo we are seeing are orchestrated designed to divert the attention and paint the Governor-Elect with odium.
This new level of media blackmail is simply and squarely the fact that he defeated an incumbent APC governor who was adjudged to be an unmitigated failure by the enlightened Bauchi voters. “They failed before and will fail again.”