FORMER Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari has threatened to sue three media outlets after they reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered 21 vehicles from his country home.
On May 29, Governor Yari stood down from office having served the maximum two terms he was allowed under the constitution and has since moved to his country home in Talata-Mafara. However, it was reported that on August 4, EFCC operatives stormed his premises and uncovered 21 exotic automobiles and have invited him to explain how he acquired them.
Denying the story and threatening legal action against the media organisations that broke the story which he described as fake news, Governor Yari said they were just out to tarnish his image. Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, the governor’s spokesman, added that the concerned media outfits had captioned their reports with headlines that read N2.35bn IDPs fund was misappropriated by the former governor and N3.51bn ecological fund was misappropriated by the former governor.
Alhaji Dosara said: “These are the allegations made against the former governor and credited to the EFCC. Let these newspapers go and verify their facts, as the ecological funds were distributed during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan and no All Progressives Congress (APC) governor was given a dime for the purpose.
“On the issue of the alleged IDPs N35bn, the newspapers accused the former governor of, I challenge these newspapers to publish to the public, the name of persons or institutions that gave him such amount of money or indeed any penny for the IDPs. Otherwise, the former governor will take legal action.
“Also, the allegation levelled against the former governor that he misappropriated the N51 billion given to him for ecological disasters/problems is not true.” He subsequently gave the media outfits 24 hours to retract their reports or face legal action.
Alhaji Dosara also added that they are waiting to see what the EFFC will do to the whistle blower, which caused the investigation. According to Alhaji Dosara, the investigation did not reveal anything incriminating against Governor Yari. He pointed out that the ex-governor’s house in Talata-Mafara had no space to accommodate the so-called 21 luxury cars.
This EFCC’s investigation came on the heels of a transition committee report set up by the incumbent Governor Bello Matawalle. Headed by the former governor’s deputy, Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala, the committee questioned several financial transactions of the Yari-led administration.