N16.7 billion, withdrawn by the office of the Secretary to the Plateau State Government (SSG), under Gov Jonah Jang’s administration, is missing.
A Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to probe activities of Jang’s eight years as governor, made the allegation on Tuesday in Jos. It said the money remains unaccounted for.
The commission announced the said discovery while examining witnesses with respect to a memo against Sen. Jonah Jang and the Office of the Secretary to the State Government.
The chairman of the commission, Justice Stephen Adah, while analysing the contents of the memo, observed that the sum of N16.7 billion was allegedly withdrawn by one Yusuf Pam, a former cashier, attached to the office of the SSG, during the period under review.
Mr Kelvin Bamshak, former Director, Finance and Supply, Office of the SSG, while standing as a witness, told the commission that it was a “classified expenditure”.
Bamshak said that the purpose for the withdrawal, and how it was expended, was only known by Jang.
He also revealed that N100 million was released as running cost to `Operation Rainbow’, a security outfit established by Jang, to complement the police and the Special Task Force, in addressing lingering security issues.
Pam, who made the withdrawals, while taking his turn on the witness box, corroborated Bamshak’s testimony, adding that the N16.7 billion which he withdrew, was based on “executive directive from the former governor”.
He told the commission that he was given security backup to withdraw the cash, and disclosed that each withdrawal was “usually a maximum of N150 million, which is always delivered to the governor”.
The commission also observed that another N5 million was withdrawn via the Automated Teller Machine in 2010, and revealed that the money could not be traced to anyone as no beneficiary was identified.
The chairman thereafter adjourned further hearing on the memo to Nov. 23