Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered billions of Naira in cash stashed in various houses of some serving governors, 9news Nigeria learned.
Multiple sources on Friday identified the governors as Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, in exclusive interviews with SaharaReporters.
EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa earlier said three serving state governors were being monitored over their moves to launder stashed billions of naira through the payment of salaries to workers.
The development follows the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it will redesign some naira notes.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on October 26, 2022, announced that the country’s currency would be redesigned to address many issues that have negative effects on the economy.
While the re-designed notes would be released on December 15, Nigerians have up to January 31, 2023, to deposit the old notes in banks.
However, the mad rush by top politicians, traders, investors and other members of the public to cut corners and convert stashed funds into dollars, property and others, has created tension in the economy.
However, Bawa in an interview with Daily Trust said that some governors were devising means to launder the money they stashed in houses. He added that so far, the commission was closely monitoring three of them.
He said intelligence at the disposal of the commission showed that the three governors had concluded plans to inject the money into the system through the payment of workers’ salaries.
“Let me tell you something, the Intel that I have yesterday and I would want you to take this thing very seriously. Already, some state governors that have some of this cash stashed in various houses and the rest are now trying to pay salaries in cash in their state,” he had said.
While the EFCC boss refused to disclose the identity of the three governors, multiple sources in the anti-graft agency identified them as Governors Wike, Ganduje and Matawalle of Rivers, Kano and Zamfara respectively to SaharaReporters.
“The three governors we are monitoring are Governors Wike, Matawalle and Kano’s Ganduje. Billions of naira stashed in their homes in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano have been discovered,” a top EFCC official told SaharaReporters.
“These three state governors were caught trying to move these huge sums of notes kept in their residences after the CBN announced its decision to redesign the naira notes.
“They are in billions; that of Ganduje is purely kept in Kano but he has used some parts to pay for a hotel he’s building in Abuja. The hotel is at the back of the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre.”
“Zamfara governor, Matawalle kept his own in some houses he owns in Abuja while Wike has his own kept in Abuja and Port Harcourt,” one of the sources said.
In 2018, two videos of Ganduje allegedly receiving kickbacks from contractors trended on social media.
The videos published by Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, showed the governor receiving bundles of dollars and putting them into his flowing dress known as ‘babanriga’ in the northern part of Nigeria.
The governor had reportedly requested $5 million from the contractors who recorded the video while handing part of the payment to him.
In one of the videos, the governor appeared to have received $230,000, which he hastily stashed in his ‘babanriga,’ a flowing dress common in northern Nigeria.