Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: EFCC Investigates First Bank Officials, Sharia Court Judges Over Alleged Fraud

Bauchi — Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Gombe State have commenced investigation into allegations of fraud in Shira and Giade Local Government Areas of Bauchi State.

A statement issued by the EFCC Media and Public Affairs Officer, Gombe zonal office, Mr Samin Amaddin, said, "An investigative team from EFCC Gombe zonal office visited Azare, Yana and Shira Local Government Areas in Bauchi State three times over the incident and useful statements have been obtained from complainants, some of the collaborators like Waziri Muhammed Nagide Zainabari, the Yana First Bank branch manager, Abdullahi Aliyu, the Khadi, Bashir Mahmoud Azare, and some victims. Several interested parties have also been interviewed".

The statement added that the EFCC visited the areas after they received a petition on October 24th from an anonymous petitioner within the community against the manager of the First Bank in the area, Abdullahi Aliyu, the Waziri of Yana, Muhammed Nagide Zainabari and the Khadi of the Upper Shariah Court, Bashir Mahmoud Azare, for allegedly extorting money from people of the area, mostly herdsmen and farmers under the pretext that they will be granted loan.

A copy of the petition which was made available to Daily Trust yesterday in Bauchi said "Sometime in 2009, the bank manager, Abdullahi Aliyu, enticed farmers and herdsmen in some towns and villages in Shira Local Government Area of the state through the traditional leader, Muhammed Nagide Zainabari, to open account with his branch so as to benefit from an agric loan".

It added that the farmers and herdsmen were charged a minimum of N2, 000 for account opening just as all transactions were carried out by Waziri Nagide Zainabari and his agent/clerk.

The farmers and herdsmen complained that throughout the process, they never set foot inside the bank to fill or sign documents, alleging that they were attended to under a tree near the bank.

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