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N70 billion Zamfara Stolen Fund: Is Matawalle a ‘saint’ in Tinubu’s government?



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The former governor of Zamfara State and current Minister of State for Defence, Bello Muhammad Matawalle has unarguably been under pressure to be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an anti-graft agency saddled with the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting corrupt persons in Nigeria.

Matawalle was alleged to have diverted, embezzled and laundered the sum of N70 billion belonging to Zamfara State, when he spent just four years as governor, thus the humongous sums of money has made his administration one of the most fraudulent administrations since Zamfara was created in 1990. Zamfara, though, one of the poorest states in the Northwest Nigeria, its abundant mineral resources that would have shore up its internally generated revenue was left for bandits and other criminal elements to explore leading to the high rate of crime and criminality.

Most reprehensible therefore, is that, Bello Matawalle who should be investigated over the alleged money laundering has been appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and made a Minister of State for Defence. Almost a year after leaving office as governor, the call for his arrest and investigation has been deafening. One wonders, if President Tinubu’s administration has made its mind that Matawalle is a ‘Saint’ and should not be investigated amid incriminating evidences against him.

Matawalle’s shield against investigation may be injurious to anti-corruption battle in view of various international conventions and agreements on money laundering, Nigeria has signed.

This is to remind the Nigerian government that a sitting governor cannot be prosecuted, but investigated and after tenure of office, a governor who is alleged to have embezzled state fund is still being shielded in the manner, the Tinubu government is barricading the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, then one will conclude that this government is not ready to fight corruption, but continuously pay a lip service to the menace.

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