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Over 40 Looted Vehicles Recovered From Ex-Gov Matawalle, Says Zamfara Govt

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The Zamfara State Government has disclosed that over 40 vehicles, alleged to have been looted, were recovered from the erstwhile Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Friday.

Suleiman Idris, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Governor Dauda Lawal, said in a statement, that the vehicles, seized by the Police, included three bulletproof vehicles and eight SUVs.

He said they were recovered during an operation carried out in Matawalle’s properties in Gusau and Maradun as well as another unidentified hideout.

“In the early hours of Friday, the Nigeria Police Force stormed the residence of the former Governor, where over 40 vehicles were impounded.

“The Police acted on a court order and a search warrant was obtained for the operation. Recall that the Zamfara State Government communicated officially to former Governor Bello Matawalle and his Deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five (5) working days.

“We also lodged an official complaint with the Police on overriding public interest on wasteful looting of valuables including official vehicles.

“Consequently, the Police sought a search warrant which was duly given by the court and hence raided Matawalle’s residence in Gusau, Maradun Local Government, and another unidentified hideout.

“Over 40 vehicles were recovered including Three bulletproof vehicles and Eight SUVs.

“We want to reaffirm our commitment to recover all that belongs to the people. Our common resolve is to rescue and rebuild Zamfara. Recovering the proceeds of crime and public assets is a critical part of our rescue mission.

“We want to call on the people of Zamfara to remain calm as we continue to record massive improvements in the areas of security and the lingering water scarcity in the state.”

Lawal had accused Matawalle of leaving with government vehicles and looting property, including television and cookers, from the State Government House and the State Liaison Office in Abuja.

The governor, while speaking on a local radio station had said, “Former Governor Bello Matawalle had gone away with 17 vehicles from his office and those in the deputy governor’s office claiming that the vehicles are his personal belongings. In fact, not even office equipment was spared.”

Last Saturday, in a statement issued by Idris, he gave his predecessor five days to return the vehicles allegedly taken away by officials of his administration, in a statement issued by Idris.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), has however described the action by the Police as unlawful.

In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Zamfara State chapter of the party, Yusuf Idris Gusau, it said “is a gross violation of the sacred provisions of sections 34, 35, 37, 41, 42 and 43 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“To say the least, the action, which is said to have been directed by Governor of Zamfara, Dauda Lawal, is archaic, barbaric, brutal, unacceptable and an illegal trespass on the former governor’s property in Gusau and his hometown Maradun,” the party added.

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