An anti-corruption group, the Advocate for Social Justice (ASJ) has called on the Code of Conduct Bureau to beam its searchlights on the source of wealth of the Zamfara state Governor, Mr Dauda Lawal allegedly worth over $5 billion.
ASJ’s Executive Director, Mr Gamji Guana Joseph at a press conference in Abuja claimed that they were astonished to found out from the CCB that the Governor is worth far more than the aforementioned amount of monies.
The group claimed that findings from the CCB indicated that the Governor declared a total cash deposit in banks of $5,013,357,125.13, N1,522,865,024.00 and £841,704.77 adding the monies are deposited in numerous personal accounts in GT Bank, First Bank & Taj Bank while his Credent Advisory Limited corporate account has a fixed income of N200 million.
The group explained that they were left with no option but to call on the CCB to wade into the matter after several attempts to engage the state government on issues of governance relating to accountability and the spate of insecurity in Zamfara state.
The group gave the governor one week ultimatum to offer explanation on his wealth, else would be forced to mobilise Nigerians and people of zamfara state to stage a protest march to the National Assembly to enable the authorities and international agencies conduct proper probe on the matter.
It noted: “We will not only be challenging the authenticity of the figures he declared while exposing sources of earnings, but also we want to put the CCB, an agency of the federal government, on notice that they have to explain to Nigerians how they verified the submissions including the sources of income where applicable.
“The governor might have immunity from prosecution, but he cannot be immune from revolt from his people and Nigerians! We believe he will do the right thing, as the clock has started ticking.”
Continuing, the group argued: “A brief biography of Governor Dauda Lawal’s career path shows that the former governor spent the larger chunk of his career as a banker with First Bank of Nigeria. After he left the banking industry in 2014, Lawal alongside his friend Munir Umaru Baba started Credent Capital and Advisory Limited which they launched with an initial Capital base of $500 million.
“They claim to have invested & managed over $2 billion for 175+ clients across the world since then. Outside these 2 known career involvements, there is no other known venture he has participated in except politics.
“The myriad of questions needing answers this revelations have opened us up to during our investigative findings, especially as it pertains to the average Zamfara citizen are: What are the sources of the inflow of $5 billion cash balance in one of his First Bank personal account, termed as fixed deposit?
“These financial inflows, are they through legitimate transactions or dubious engagements bothering on money laundry, fraud, illegal mining or sponsorship of terrorism?
If the claim of having more than $5 billion in his personal accounts are proceeds from his joint investment venture, it implies their gross earnings over the period would have been in excess of $12 billion when you consider his partners due earning and taxes to be paid. Can this be proven and verified in details?
“Did the governor pay the commiserate taxes to the federal government from what he declared? Those tax receipts need to be made public.
“If the governor did not pay the commiserate taxes, what is the due punishment by law? If the financial assets declared are false and misleading, and such monies do not exist implying he lied under oath, what are the penalties for such a crime under Nigerian laws?
“What also can be said to be his motive as a former banker, for such frivolous false declarations; to prepare grounds for him to loot the state so as to surpass the declared assets when he leaves office?”
“We call on His Excellency, Governor Dauda Lawal, to please without further delay avail the people of Zamfara State and Nigeria with facts and figures behind these financial deposit declarations so as to allay their fears that their governor is not a fraudster or sponsor of terrorism.”