By Kehinde Emmanuel, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday said the looted funds recently returned to the state would go into social investment programme to benefit the poor.
“By the grace of God, this money will go into social investment programme of the state. It is going into lifting thousands of people out of poverty. We are not going to award contracts with this money. It is going to help the poor people,” AbdulRazaq said at the official handing over N111,428, 891.00 looted funds to the government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
AbdulRazaq commended the anti-graft body for their efforts and service to the country, assuring that the funds would only go into serving the downtrodden. He also called on Kwarans to continue to support the body.
“We thank the EFCC for what they are doing. We are happy that in our state you keep us on our toes. Unlike what many people may perceive, EFCC are partners in progress all over the federation. So we should join hands with them and assist them,” he said.
AbdulRazaq said Kwara under him is replicating many of the Federal Government’s programme to make life better for the people, adding that the state’s Social Investment Programme Bill is already with the State House of Assembly.
We are replicating many of Federal Government programme in Kwara especially the social investment programme, which people know as Trader moni, market moni, N-power and school feeding programme. The Social Investment Programme Bill has already passed second reading and this money will go into the programme. We are not going to waste or mismanage it,” he added.
Speaking earlier at the handing over of the looted funds, the state zonal head of the EFCC, Isyaku Sharu, said the money had been recovered from “treasury looters” in Kwara and that the agency had so far recorded 29 convictions
“We have 29 convictions and over N500 million (five hundred million naira) recoveries of both assets and cash; part of this recovery is the N111, 428, 891.00 cash recovery for the Kwara State government,” Sharu said.
“This recovery is from suspected Kwara state treasury looters. The suspects are alleged to have criminally misappropriated landed properties of Harmony holdings while other diverted funds meant for the micro, small and medium credit scheme. The suspects cut across political office holders, traditional rulers and top civil servants.
Sharu stated that he was mandated by the Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to present the recovered loot as part of their contribution in getting rid of economic and financial crime-related offences in the state.