EFCC raids ex-Zamfara governor’s home

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says an investigation is ongoing on the seized $2.8 million at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

A Nigerian anti-graft agency, EFCC, on Sunday, raided the home of a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.

According to a report, on Monday, over 20 of EFCC operatives stormed the home of the former governor in Talata Marafa in the state capital.

The spokesperson to the commission, Tony Orilade, in a telephone interview on Monday confirmed the raid to newsmen. He said the raid was based on an ongoing investigation.

”Yes I can confirm that our operatives went to raid the home of the former governor, the raid is in respect to an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Although the EFCC is yet to issue an official statement on the raid, Mr Orilade said, ”When we are ready for the next stage, we shall carry everybody along.”

The spokesperson of the governor of Zamfara State, Ibrahim Dosara, also confirmed the incident to newsmen in a telephone interview.

He promised to send a statement later on on the issue.

Aside from Mr Yari, the immediate former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has been facing criminal charges with the anti-graft commission. Newsmen in July reported how the EFCC marked properties traced to Mr Okorocha.

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The former governor had locked horns with the national leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since the conduct of the party’s state primary elections in October 2018.

Mr Yari, who was also the former chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, ‘handpicked’ his former commissioner for finance, Mukhtar Idris, to succeed him as the governor of the north-west state.

Also, the mode of governorship primary elections selected by Mr Yari divided the party in the state.

Mr Yari wanted the APC to conduct an indirect election, where party officials would elect delegates to vote. But the party insisted on conducting a direct primary wherein all party members would vote.

Trouble deepened when the national headquarters of the APC issued a statement, three days to the deadline for primaries, dissolving the Zamfara State executive and banning Mr Yari from participating in the conduct of primaries because of his “interference”.

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After weeks of political turmoil, INEC eventually banned the party from submitting the names of candidates because it said the party failed to meet the deadline given by the commission.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on February 21, cleared Mr Idris as a candidate for the elections a few days before the commencement of the 2019 general election.

INEC later declared Mr Idris the winner of the election in Zamfara after he polled 534,541 to defeat Bello Mutawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 189,452.

But the Supreme Court, on May 24, voided the participation of the APC in the 2019 elections in the state. According to the apex court, the APC did not conduct valid primaries ahead of the polls.

Days later INEC presented the Certificate of Return to Mr Matawalle as governor-elect of Zamfara State.

Mr Matawalle of the PDP has since been sworn in as Zamfara governor.

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