A former commissioner for works in Kano State, Idris Saleh Wada has been arrested in connection with N1 billion contract scandal.
Wada was the commissioner for works in the immediate past administration of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. He was reportedly arrested by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC).
PCACC has accused Wada of diverting N1 billion through spurious contracts awarded to three different companies to fix some Kano metropolitan roads, a month before the end of Ganduje’s administration on May 29, 2023.
The Chairman of PCACC, Muhuyi Magaji, on Tuesday, said the contracts and the release of the funds by the previous regime, were done in contravention of the extant laws in the state.
According to him, the beneficiary companies under investigation are North Stone Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Arfat Multiresources Limited and 1st Step Construction Limited.
The commission further alleged that some city roads earlier marked for renovations were left untouched despite the release of funds for the projects.
According to the agency, the funds for the projects were hastily released in April this year after the then-ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the governorship election to the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) in the state.
Magaji said, “Yes, I can confirm that the former commissioner for works and four state civil servants are in our custody. They were arrested on allegations of laundering public funds on April 3, 2023. The money was syphoned through three companies, according to preliminary investigation.
“Besides the former commissioner, we’ve also invited one Permanent Secretary and four directors in the Kano State civil service.
“So far, the civil servants in our custody have voluntarily confessed that they carried out transfers of money into the three company accounts in clear violation of procurement laws. However, they’ve also explained that they merely followed orders to protect their jobs.
“Therefore, we invited the former Works commissioner following his documentary instructions to his subordinates to wire the accounts of the three companies with N1 billion.
“The money was to purportedly cover the rehabilitation of about 30 roads, including Lodge Road. But not even a shovel was taken to the site as we speak.
“In a classical display of recklessness, the former commissioner instructed the officers under him to make payments to those accounts without recourse to procurement procedures. Bizarrely, the accounts were credited one month before a certificate of no objection was issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).”
“After the fraudulent transfer of the money on April 3, they now notified the BPP on April 17; surprisingly a certificate of no objection was issued for the commencement of projects on May 10, that’s one month after the money was syphoned,” Magaji added.