The report from Tribune stating that former Governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, was declared wanted has been refuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Prior to the conclusion of his tenure, Matawalle had accused the now suspended EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, of demanding a $2 million bribe from him. In an interview with NewsMedia, Matawalle criticized the EFCC for targeting governors while neglecting federal officials with significant budgetary allocations.
In response to these allegations, the EFCC denied them and stated that they were investigating Matawalle for allegedly embezzling state funds amounting to N70 billion through unexecuted contracts awarded to his associates, with money being received in return.
The Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, also accused Matawalle of stealing official vehicles from the Government House before handing over leadership of the state to him. Lawal claimed that his predecessor had sold all the official vehicles, refrigerators, television sets, and other items from the Government House.
Nevertheless, the EFCC, through a statement obtained by Aro Okeigbo Blog on Sunday, clarified that the former governor had not been declared wanted. The anti-graft agency dismissed the report from Tribune as inaccurate.
According to the statement: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a report titled ‘Alleged N70b Fraud: EFCC Declares Ex-Zamfara Gov, Matawalle Wanted,’ which appeared in the Sunday Tribune of June 18, 2023. The report suggests that the Commission had declared a former Zamafara State governor, Bello Matawalle, wanted and requested the Department of State Service, DSS, to arrest him ‘anywhere he is seen’.
“Without prejudicing the case involving the former governor, the report is incorrect, as the Commission has not declared Matawalle wanted or sought the assistance of any agency, including the DSS, to apprehend him. The Commission has established procedures for declaring individuals wanted and communicates such information to the public, not through unidentified ‘security sources’.”