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SUVs Seized as Police Raid Ex-Gov Matawalle’s Residence

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Some Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were on Friday impounded by the Police at the residence of the immediate-past Governor of Zamfara State, Muhammad Bello Matawalle.

Media reports disclosed that a total of four SUVs were seized.

This followed a Police raid on the Matawalle’s residence in Gusau, on the order of incumbent Governor Dauda Lawal.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has 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.”

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

Speaking on a local radio station, Lawal 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.”

Policemen were said to have stormed the former governor’s residence, which is not far from Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

Last Saturday, Lawal gave Matawalle an ultimatum of five days to return the vehicles allegedly taken away by officials of his administration.

Lawal, who gave the ultimatum via a statement, issued by his spokesman, Sulaiman Idris, vowed to recover looted funds and properties of the state government.

“We have the facts and records available, that expose Matawalle’s impropriety.

“Where is the lie? A contract was awarded by the former governor, for the purchase of vehicles to be distributed to dignitaries and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) at the cost of N1,149,800,000.

“The contract for the purchase of the vehicles was awarded to Hafkhad Properties and Facilities Management Nig. Ltd.

“The money was meant for the purchase of a Toyota Lexus VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V6 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V4 2021 Model; Peugeot 2021 Model; Toyota Hilux 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser Bullet Proof 2021; and Toyota Lexus 2021 Model.

“We have communicated officially to former Governor Bello Matawalle and his Deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five working days,” he stated.

When LEADERSHIP contacted the Zamfara State government on the latest development, spokesperson of Governor Lawal, Sulaiman Bala Idris, said he was unaware that his principal gave the raid order, saying the Police were only doing its work.

The APC, in the statement issued by Gusau, stated, “What exactly might have warranted the invasion still remains a mystery to the good people of Zamfara state?

“If the government thinks it has any case against the former Governor why not charge him to court instead of resorting to such barbaric and uncivilized means?

“We call on the Nigerian Police Force and Department of State Service (DSS) as a matter of urgency, to take a decisive stand against this misadventure by Zamfara state Government and the perpetrators must be identified and made to face the dire consequences of their action.

“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.

“There is no law in the country that gave the police, the DSS or any other security outfit the right to, without notice nor warrant, invade any citizen’s property.

“Similarly, no governor of a state under whatever guise, reason, or purpose has the right to, without notice invade on other people’s property.

“The police and the DSS in Zamfara acted in error and can be accused of being political in their actions, which we want an immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police to direct for an immediate investigation and prosecution of those who carried out the illegal act of breaking into the two residences of Zamfara State APC leader and former Governor Bello Matawalle,” the APC spokesperson added.

With additional report from LEADERSHIP

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