The purchase of N700 million residence for the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in Abuja followed due process, the Sokoto State Government said today.
File photo: Gov. Tambuwal of Sokoto State
The Sokoto State Government has opened up on the controversy which trailed the purchase of N700 million lavish residence for the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in the federal capital, Abuja.
According to DailyTrust, the state government was responding to the alleged interrogation of the Chief of Staff to the Sultan, Alhaji Kabiru Tafida by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday and Wednesday over a suspicious transfer of N700m into his account from the Sokoto State government account.
In a statement, the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Media and Publicity Imam Imam, said that the N700million was for the “provision and furnishing of Sultanate Council office and residence in Abuja,” adding that the funds were captured under the state capital estimates of 2016 supplementary budget and 2017 budget.
EFCC sources said they were trying to establish why the funds were channelled through the personal account of the Sultan’s senior aide.
The Secretary to the Sultanate Council, Alhaji Faruk Umar, however, denied any knowledge of the N700 million allegedly linked to the Sultan.
Speaking in his office, Faruk said, “I am just hearing it from you, therefore I cannot comment on something which I don’t know,” he said.
Imam explained that: “The Sokoto State Government, concerned by lack of a befitting office and residential accommodation for use by officials and members of the Sultanate Council, approved within its capital estimates 2016 Supplementary Budget and 2017 Budget, the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200 million) and Five Hundred Million Naira (N500 million) respectively, provision and furnishing of of Sultanate Council office and residence in Abuja.”
“Furthermore, the Sokoto State Executive Council, the highest decision-making body in the state, via a resolution of the EXCO with number CC (2016) 5R of Wednesday, December 28, 2016, approved the purchase of the office and residential accommodation in Abuja,” Imam said.
“Following the adherence to laid down procedure, the process of acquiring the property was set in motion upon which some elements are now trying to make political capital out of it,” he said.
Several attempts to speak EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwajuren were not successful.