How Bauchi ex-Governor spent N2.3bn on cemetery materials – Asset Recovery Committee
From Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The controversy surrounding the N2.3billion spent on mahogany and shrouds for Bauchi Central Cemetery by the immediate past Governor of Bauchi State, M A Abubakar has the now been confirmed by Funds and Assets Recovery Committee constituted by the present administration of the state.
The Special Adviser to the immediate past Governor, Ali M. Ali had however, debunked media reports at the inception of the PDP administration in the state that contract for the supply of mahogany and shroud was awarded at a cost of N1.3billion and not N2.3 billion as reported in the media.
A spokesman of the committee, Alhaji Umar Barau Ningi who made the confirmation at a press conference in Bauchi, said contract for the supply of the materials was awarded by the immediate past administration to an array of companies, including one Engineering & Design Company between 2016 and January 2019.
According to the contract, Umar Ningi explained, the materials were to be supplied to Bauchi Central Cemetery, Azare, Misau, Ningi, Jama’are, Dass, Toro, Gamawa, Darazo and Alkaleri Cemeteries and other various locations not properly defined.
Ningi revealed that the pieces of mahogany woods to be supplied were 573, 000 at the cost of N1, 568, 033, 810, while the total number of shroud to be supplied was 66, 000 bundles at the cost of N820, 423, 360, thus putting the total contract sum at N2, 388, 457, 170,
He said: “This outrageous contract implied that at the worst case scenario, at least 573, 000 people would have died within this period for the mahogany to be exhausted, while the total number of 198, 000 people must have died within the period for 66, 000 bundles of shroud to be exhausted.”
A relevant ministry in the state handling the two related matters has in the meantime, approached Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad Karan for approval to supply more of such materials at only N1.5million.
Ningi said however, that investigation would be concluded when the committee confirms death figures from various locations to assess the true position of whether or not the materials could truly be said to have been exhausted.
Investigations by The Triumph however, confirmed that the death figure presently at the Bauchi Central Cemetery ever since the commencement of its use right from the past Malam Isa Yuguda administration that provided the cemetery in 2013 is not up to 60, 000 deaths, according to officials overseeing the cemetery.