The EFCC has invited former Bauchi state governor Isa Yuguda for questioning over alleged disappearance of a state owned aircraft, Daily Trust has learnt in Abuja.
The aircraft has become a subject of controversy lately after it was declared “missing” by Yuguda’s successor.
A reliable source at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja confirmed to Daily Trust that the former governor had been invited and that he was expected any moment.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the invitation was in relation to the controversial aircraft.
The source declined to make further comment, saying: “That’s all I can tell you.”
EFCC spokesman Wilson Iwujeran, when contacted, said he was not aware of the invitation and declined to comment further.
Yuguda’s former Commissioner of Information in the State, Alhaji Salisu Ahmad Barau, said he was not aware of any petition against Yuguda. He, however, added that he would not be surprised if the former governor was petitioned, considering the nature of Nigeria where people always petitioned against former leaders.
Barau said: “We know EFCC has their own law of operations and we believe they are to be fair to all, we know Yuguda when he was a Governor, he did his best; he was fair and just.
“We believe that if the EFCC should invite him he will answer all the question they will ask him to the best of his ability and by the grace of Allah they will be satisfied”.
Most of the officials of the Bauchi State Government declined to comment over the invitation of Yuguda by the EFCC.
State Chairman of recovery committee Air Commodore Tijjani Baba Gamawa did not answer several calls made to his phone and he didn’t reply text message.
Bauchi state governor Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar in a state broadcast to mark his 100 days in office recently revealed that the aircraft, Embraer 145, had been traced to Morocco.
He added that it was recovered by the assets recovery committee he constituted to recover some property acquired by officials and associates of the last administration.
However, Yuguda’s former commissioner of Religious Affairs, Community Relations and Information had denied the aircraft was ever missing.
The former commissioner, Alhaji Salisu Ahmed Barau who spoke to journalists in Bauchi said the governor got his facts mixed-up.
The handing over document contains the following facts:
*The aircraft was first leased to Messrs IRS Airlines.
*Yuguda entered into a fresh lease agreement with the company and Messr Dornier Aviation AIEP as consultants.
*The lease agreement was later terminated and the aircraft was handed over to the consultants for safe keeping.
* A fresh agreement was entered with Messrs Hamsal Air Service on a monthly rental fee of N15 million while retaining Messrs Dornier Aviation as consultants.
*In October 2011, Hamsal Air Services indicated intention to withdraw from the agreement.
“Outstanding rental fees for the months of August-October, 2011 to the tune of N45 million against Hamsal Air Limited are yet to be settled.
*The aircraft was then leased to Messrs Associated Aviation Limited on a monthly fee of N17 million.
*It took the aircraft to Ogma Facility in Portugal for 5 ‘A’ Checks in March 2012 during which it became due for ‘C’ Checks but it requested the Bauchi State government to settle the cost, promising to pay at a later date.
*Associated Aviation Limited failed to refund to the state Euros 962,293.96 in respect of the 5 ‘A’ Checks and the ‘C’ Checks and other services including Insurance.
*The aircraft was leased to Messrs Overland Airways Limited to update its records and make it airworthy.
“Overland took aircraft to the Atlantic Air Industries facility in Morocco and the sum of $ 600,000 was released to the company to facilitate early completion of the work.
*The sum of $ 214,250 was also released to the company to renew the Insurance Cover of the Aircraft for one year”