By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja
Ibrahim Shema, former Governor of Katsina State says he left N14 billion in the state’s treasury as against N4 billion that he is being alleged to have left behind at end of his tenure in 2015.
A statement by Oluwabusola Olawale, Media aide to the former governor, said that the allegations bandied around were not only baseless but an infantile obsession aimed at discrediting the previous administration in Katsina state.
Olawale said that while Shema will not like to join issues with current administration the sum of over N14 billion was left in the coffers of both Katsina state government and local government as at May 29, 2015.
The statement reads in part:
‘’Our attention has been drawn to statement credited to Governor Aminu Bello Masari government in a rejoinder by one Muhammed Sani, to the demand for accountability and good governance from his administration by Masari fellow APC members published in the newspapers, claiming that it only inherited the sum of N4 billion from the former Governor Shema administration.
‘’We are glad that he admitted over N4 billion was inherited by his administration.
‘’If Governor Aminu Masari believes otherwise we challenge him to publish the certified bank account statements of state government accounts, ministries, departments and agencies as well as the 34 local governments as at May 29, 2015 to be duly signed by the bank manager of the respective banks and investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
‘’Instead of brandishing figures on the pages of newspapers and if Governor Masari fails to do that he should not comment on such issue.
‘’Although we are not surprise about Governor Masari penchant for telling lies because what can anyone expect from a man that wrote a letter to deceive the President and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claiming that Katsina State government is owing workers’ salaries as at May 29th, 2015 which was subsequently discovered to be un true.’’
He also said that for Governor Masari to disclose that his administration paid N17.8 billion for pension and gratuity within two and half years of which he claimed he inherited N11.6 billion debt shows that pension and gratuity in government is a continuous payment.
‘’To further puncture the lies and deceit of Governor Masari , in the publication it claims Shema administration bequeathed a debt portfolio amount to $78.9 million as at 29th May, 2015, and in giving the details of the loan.
“These are (1) $1,500,000.00 (US Dollars) loan taken on 1st January, 2009, (2) SDR 3,250,000.00 loan taken on 15th April, 2009, (3) SDR 2,585,563.00 loan taken on 17th September, 2009, and (4) $4,000,000.00 loan taken on 25th February, 2015. This last loan was taken after the 2015 gubernatorial election, and only three months before Shema exited from office as Governor on 29th May, 2015.”
He added that throughout the eight years tenure of Governor Shema administration, no amount was borrowed as loan from any source, adding that all the claims of Masari administration are all lies.