The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has allegedly confiscated a property situated at No. 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja belived to belong to a former acting Governor of Adamawa State, Umaru Fintiri.
The property, believed to be worth about N500 million had ‘EFCC, under investigation’ painted at its entrance upon inspection.
Fintiri had been arrested by the EFCC 10 days ago based on a petition by former members of his cabinet that he corruptly appropriated N1.9 billion to himself in the 3 months he was acting governor.
Fintiri became the acting governor of Adamawa from July 15, 2014 to October 8, 2014 when Governor Murtala Nyako, and his deputy, Bala Ngilari were impeached.
A source at the EFCC told Punch Newspaper that the suspect reportedly diverted money meant for the construction of the Faculty of Law at the Adamawa State University.
He said, “Before his impeachment, Nyako left a balance of N1,957,045,82 in the state government’s project account with the Yola branch of Zenith Bank, with account number 1011325467. Out of the money, N497m was meant for the construction of a law faculty at the university, which was to be sited at the former Teachers’ College, Yola.”
“However, when Fintiri took over as acting governor, he transferred the proposed faculty from Yola to the Mubi campus of the ADSU and later laid the foundation; but after that, the project never took off.”
“Investigations revealed that on Fintiri’s orders, part of the N1.9bn was released to the Ministry of Works and a contract was awarded to a construction company, Mayim Construction Limited, for the construction of roads in Mararaba Garta and Kamale in the Michika Local Government Area of the state. The company, we believe, is owned by Fintiri, which is illegal.”
“The roads in question have not been constructed.”
Also the source revealed that Fintiri bought Highland Tea, a tea manufacturing company in Mambilla Plateau and jointly owned by Adamawa and Taraba states after paying off the N600 million owed by the factory to the Bank of Agriculture.
Furthermore, the source revealed that Fintiri also bought the assets of a firm, S M Nguroje Nigeria Limited, a tea plantation and processing plant located in Taraba State through the Bank of Agriculture for N650 million with his company.
“We believe that part of the N1.9bn was used in buying the tea plantation,” the source was quoted to have said.
It was gathered that Fintiri would soon be charged to court by the agency as it is also investigating a loan of N5 billion taken by Fintiri when he was governor as it was believed to be acquired without due process.
In response, Fintiri’s spokesperson has rubbished the allegations describing them as baseless while stating that the contracts awarded by the suspects were in accordance to the laws of the state.
He also said Fintiri’s Abuja home was not seized, it was only put under investigation.
He said, “The bids for the contracts were transparent and the ministries concerned duly advertised the projects for pre-qualification tender, which was not opened before Fintiri’s tenure ended.”
“I think what you as a journalist should do is to find out why a suspect will be held for over 48 hours without being charged to court.”