…Demands facts, figures
An anti-corruption group on the aegis of of Advocate for Social Justice (ASJ) has has challenged the Zamfara state governor, Dauda Lawal, to avail the people of Zamfara and Nigeria with facts and figures behind his financial deposit declarations with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The group also asked the CCB to explain to Nigerians how it verified the submissions by the governor, including his sources of income where applicable.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Executive Director of the group, Gamji Guana Joseph, said documents in possession of the organisation show that documents show that the incumbent governor of Zamfara state should be listed on Forbes as one of the richest men in Africa, “with cash deposit in one account alone, out of several others, showing a balance of $5 billion.”
The group lamented that Zamfara state is one of the most affected states (if not the most affected) on issues of insecurity, terrorism and syndicated illegal mining, adding that the state is among the most disadvantaged states in northern Nigeria.
According to Joseph, a brief biography of Governor Dauda Lawal’s career path shows that the former governor spent the larger chunk of his career as a banker with First Bank of Nigeria.
“After he left the banking industry in 2014, Lawal alongside his friend Munir Umaru Baba started Credent Capital and Advisory Limited which they launched with an initial Capital base of $500 million. They claim to have invested & managed over $2 billion for 175+ clients across the world since then. Outside these 2 known career involvements, there is no other known venture he has participated in except politics.”
The group said: “In total, Governor Dauda Lawal declared a total cash deposit in banks of 1. $5,013,357,125.13, 2. N1,522,865,024.00, 3. £841,704.77
“These monies are deposited in numerous personal accounts in GT Bank, First Bank & Taj Bank while his Credent Advisory Limited corporate account has a fixed income of N200 million
“We therefore wish to use this press conference to call on His Excellency, Governor Dauda Lawal, to please without further delay avail the people of Zamfara State and Nigeria with facts and figures behind these financial deposit declarations so as to allay their fears that their governor is not a fraudster or sponsor of terrorism.
“It is also important to note that this plea is not open ended, and if the sources of these figures declared are not made public within 1 week, it is our intent to mobilise Nigerians and people of Zamfara state to march to the nNational Assembly and ensure a state of emergency is declared in the state by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to enable the authorities and international agencies conduct proper probe on the governor’s sources of wealth to be sure he is not a sponsor of terrorism & illegal mining in Zamfara and Northern Nigeria.
“We will not only be challenging the authenticity of the figures he declared while exposing sources of earnings, but also we want to put the CCB, an agency of the federal government, on notice that they have to explain to Nigerians how they verified the submissions including the sources of income where applicable.
“The governor might have immunity from prosecution, but he cannot be immune from revolt from his people and Nigerians!”
The group wondered the sources of the inflow of $5 billion cash balance in one of governor’s First Bank personal account, termed as fixed deposit.
“These financial inflows, are they through legitimate transactions or dubious engagements bothering on money laundry, fraud, illegal mining or sponsorship of terrorism?
“If the claim of having more than $5 billion in his personal accounts are proceeds from his joint investment venture, it implies their gross earnings over the period would have been in excess of $12 billion when you consider his partners due earning and taxes to be paid. Can this be proven and verified in details?”