Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, says he is resolute in his claim that Bauchi State government under Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar diverted public funds to the tune of N400 billion from May 2015 when he assumed office to date.
His affirmation is in response to a reply issued by the Bauchi state governor to the effect that the total receipt from the federation account in the preceding three years is nowhere close to that figure.
However, the Speaker challenged the governor to take the case to court if he is sure that the accusations are baseless, adding that an additional 1300 workers were also falsely claimed to have been employed by Governor Abubakar in July 2015, making the figure a total of 2500 ghost workers and not 1200 as disclosed earlier.
It would be recalled that before Governor Abubakar assumed office in May 2015, former Governor Isa Yuguda had employed thousands of political appointees, about 4000, which increased the monthly wage bill of the state to N2.6 billion but on assuming office, Abubakar sacked them all.
This should have automatically translated into drastic reduction of the monthly wage bill of Bauchi state since no new recruitment into the state civil service was carried out.
However, the wage bill skyrocketed to about N7 billion excluding that of the 20 the local government areas.
In the same vein, thousands of ghost workers were also added into the payroll of all the 20 Local Government Areas of the state which he (Governor Abubakar) uses to divert their monthly allocations that brings the total sum of money diverted within the period to N400 billion including three payments of Paris Club Refunds and two bailouts the state received from the federal government.
This excludes the internally generated revenue of the state and LGAs which is not accounted for.
While cautioning civil servants to be careful not to allow themselves to be used to doctor documents and alter records, Hon Dogara warned that they will surely be called to account for any such action sooner rather than later as there are credible reports which indicated that the governor is desperately working to doctor and alter documents and records to cover up the monumental fraud and theft of public funds.