N500m Abuja house of ex-Adamawa acting Governor seized

The former acting governor allegedly diverted the fund that was meant for the construction of the Faculty of Law at the Adamawa State University.

Umaru Fintiri

The property, a terrace house, is located on No. 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.

According to the newspaper, the house, which is said to be worth N500million, has inscribed on its entrance ‘EFCC, under investigation’.

The anti-graft agency had arrested Fintiri 10 days ago following a petition by former members of his cabinet that he embezzled N1.9billion during the three months he acted as governor.

Fintiri's opportunity to serve as the state Governor came after the impeachment of the substantive governor, Murtala Nyako, and his deputy, Bala Ngilari, in 2014. He was the the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly before then.

He acted as the state governor from July 15, 2014 to October 8, 2014.

“Before his impeachment, Nyako left a balance of N1,957,045,82 in the state government’s project account with the Yola branch of Zenith Bank, with account number 1011325467. Out of the money, N497m was meant for the construction of a law faculty at the university, which was to be sited at the former Teachers’ College, Yola," a source told Punch.

“However, when Fintiri took over as acting governor, he transferred the proposed faculty from Yola to the Mubi campus of the ADSU and later laid the foundation; but after that, the project never took off.

“Investigations revealed that on Fintiri’s orders, part of the N1.9bn was released to the Ministry of Works and a contract was awarded to a construction company, Mayim Construction Limited, for the construction of roads in Mararaba Garta and Kamale in the Michika Local Government Area of the state. The company, we believe, is owned by Fintiri, which is illegal.

“The roads in question have not been constructed,” the source said.

Fintiri, according to the source, also purchased Highland Tea, a tea manufacturing company located on the Mambilla Plateau and jointly owned by Adamawa and Taraba states. The tea company owed N600m to the Bank of Agriculture, which Fintiri paid promptly and became its sole owner.

He also allegedly bought the assets of a firm, S M Nguroje Nigeria Limited, through the Bank of Agriculture for N650m

The property is a tea plantation and processing plant located in Taraba State.

“We believe that part of the N1.9bn was used in buying the tea plantation,” the source added.

Report said the EFCC is also investigating a loan of N5 billion taken by Fintiri as acting governor. The loan was allegedly taken without following due process.

An anonymous source loyal to Fintiri however dismissed the allegations, saying they are baseless, adding that the ex-acting governor's house was not seized but just put under investigation.

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