Following the controversies generated by the ‘fraudulent’ declaration of the Adamawa state governorship election winner by the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa Ari, records has revealed that the REC was once indicted in a 16 billion naira fraud during his time as a permanent secretary in the Bauchi State ministry of local government affa
A deep dive into his life before his appointment as REC showed that Ari was a public servant in Bauchi State civil service rising through the ranks to become permanent secretary in the ministry of local government affairs during the tenure of former governor, Isa Yuguda.
In January 2016, Yuguda’s successor, Muhammad Abubakar opened a probe and forensic audit of all contracts, expenditure and appointments made in all the ministries, departments and agencies from May 2007 to May 2015 when Yuguda was in office.
The probe committee in it’s report on January 6, 2017 indicted Yuguda as well as the Adamawa REC (Ari) stating that “the amount claimed to have been expended by the past administration in executing projects did not tally with the records of amount that accrued to the state from June 2007 to May 2015 from the Federation Accounts as contained in documents obtained from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.”
Specifically, Ari was indicted for being involved in funds diversion from the local governments’ contributions account to the tune of 16 billion naira.
The report said Yuguda, his former commissioners for local government affairs, former special advisers, former permanent secretaries and former accountants general or their representatives, as signatories to the JAAC accounts, are to account for N16 billion.
The Committee recommended that former commissioners in the ministry, Idris Halilu and Abubakar Faggo; retired Permanent Secretaries, Ado Santurakin Pali and Hudu Ari; special advisers in the ministry, former accountants general, or their representatives, being co-signatories to the JAAC accounts, as well as the Director, Finance and Accounts, Aliyu Mohammed, are to account for N3.5 billion for several “unjustified cash withdrawals” made from the accounts of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs by Mohammed Musa, the Cashier to JAAC Account.
“Within the period under review, the Committee discovered huge payments made in the Ministry for Local Government Affairs without appropriate payment vouchers,” the report added
The committee also said N88.2 billion, being amount illegally remitted from the Ministry of Local Government Affairs from its Federation Account Allocations to various MDAs from June 2007 to May 2015, to be recovered from Yuguda, Yunusa Ari and other past top government officials.
Subsequently, the case was referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution, but not much was heard of it afterwards.