Village district chief, two others arrested for diverting government fertilizers in Zamfara state

 

The operators of the Zonal Sokoto Office of the Commission on Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, arrested the President of the Association of Rice Farmers of Nigeria, RIFAN, the Local Government Chapter of Gummi, Ibrahim Rijiya, for his alleged participation in the diversion of three towing loads of 1,800 bags of fertilizer, and a truck loaded with agricultural herbicides belonging to rice producers in Gummi.

The council’s shopkeeper, Aminu Musa and Abdullahi Bashir, were also arrested. It is also alleged that Rijiya, who is also the district chief of Rijiya Gummi, Gummi LGA, Zamfara State, diverted three trailers loaded with fertilizers and other supplies to their local farmers, and then sold each bag for the sum of N3,000 including other agricultural materials.

The EFCC received a request from representatives of seven different groups of rice producers, claiming that sometimes in July 2018, the Federal Government approved and disbursed 12 trucks of fertilizers and herbicides, provided to 83 cooperative groups in Gummi and that no member of the The association collected all items approved by the government.

All efforts made by the Gummi Chapter of RIFAN to retrieve the items proved to be abortive. The investigation revealed that Rijiya conspired with Musa to divert and sell the three fertilizer trailers and a herbicide truck to Bashir at a cost of N17.1 million and shared the money between them.

The suspects confessed their roles in the crime, while the three trailers of the fertilizer were recovered from them. Efforts are being made to recover the diverted herbicide. Soon they will be prosecuted in court.

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