– A senior official of the Sokoto state government stated that the money was from the state government, and was earmarked for the purchase of an official residence for the sultan in Abuja
– This claim was however dismissed by EFCC investigators who queried why the state transferred the funds to the personal account of the sultan’s aide, instead of that of the Sultanate
– After being questioned for two days by EFCC investigators, the sultan’s aide was eventually granted administrative bail after pressure had reportedly been applied on the commission by the sultan and the Sokoto state government
The Sarkin Fada of Sokoto who also acts as the chief of staff to the sultan of Sokoto Abubakar Sa’ad, Kabir Tafida, was interrogated on Tuesday July 25 and Wednesday July 26, by crack detectives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Premium Times reports.
NAIJATRENDING.com notes that according to individuals with knowledge of the situation, Tafida was quizzed over a suspicious transfer of N500m form the Sokoto state governments’ account, into his account.
EFCC investigators reportedly invited Tafida for questioning on Tuesday, and then asked him to return on Wednesday.
However, following what a source referred to as “unceasing pressure on the EFCC by the Sultan and the Sokoto State government”, Tafida was eventually released on administrative bail on Wednesday July 26.
A source further disclosed that the N500m was allegedly removed from the state’s share of the Paris Club refund recently paid out to all 36 states, but this claim has not been verified.
However, it has been verified that the money was indeed transferred form the Sokoto state government’s account, into Tafida’s account.
According to investigators, “the suspect has also been receiving huge funds from the government of Sokoto on behalf of the Sultan” yet, Tafida is not known to have offered any service to the state government.
The Sokoto state government has not yet issued a statement on the issue.
However, a senior state government official who spoke about the development stated: “the money is from the government of Sokoto state and is meant for the purchase of a house for the sultan in Abuja”.
The official further disclosed that the monarch lacked an official residence in the nation’s capital as he added, “the matter was discussed extensively at the meeting of the state executive council and due approval granted.
“In fact, the money is captured in the state’s 2017 budget and was officially released.”
But in response to this claim, investigators queried why the state transferred the funds to Tafida’s personal account instead of that of the Sultanate.
One investigator stated: “Also, why was the money not paid to an estate agent or a contractor buying or building a house for the Sultan?
“As far as we are concerned, there is something suspicious about this transaction.”
Meanwhile NAIJATRENDING.com previously reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opened an investigation into alleged corrupt enrichment by Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, a grandson of the former premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto.
He was accused of partaking in the illegal sharing of funds from the Paris Club refunds as a consultant; and at the same time collecting millions of Naira from the Taraba state government for a contract he refused to implement.