A Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba has restrained the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and other erstwhile members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, from parading themselves as members of the committee.
The court, on Wednesday, issued the order restraining them until the determination of a substantive suit before the court.
Justice Onome Marshal Umukoro, who presided over the matter, also stopped the party’s scheduled Local Government (LG) Congress in Delta State slated for September 4, 2021.
Olorogun Elvis Ayomanor, who is the APC Deputy Chairman in the state had led other officials of the party in the state to the court, challenging the outcome of the Ward Congress in the state.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how Buni was enmeshed in a multi-billion naira asset declaration scandal at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The Nigerian constitution and the CCB/Code of Conduct Tribunal Act make it mandatory for public officers and civil servants across the levels of government to periodically declare their assets.
SaharaReporters gathered that the scandal is being discussed in hush tones in the Yobe State Government House and National Secretariat of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abuja.
Buni has been chairing the caretaker committee of the ruling party since the sacking of Adams Oshiomole in June 2020.
Spirited efforts by the governor and his supporters to cover up the scandal however failed last week when his pre-tenure form (form CC81), which was deposited at CCB on May 23, 2019, got leaked to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency, a source told SaharaReporters.
Buni, who was the National Secretary of the APC until his election as Yobe state governor in 2019, was involved in anticipatory declaration, a criminal offence under the CCB law.
“Though he has immunity but he committed offences contrary to Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 which are punishable under Section 23 (2) of the same Act,” a Government House source told SaharaReporters.
An analysis of the document submitted by the governor showed he declared having N2 billion as cash in six Nigerian banks.
Further checks showed that the accounts are being operated by one firm, MDG Construction and General Company Limited.
Buni, in the document, however, claimed to have no cash in foreign accounts.
Despite claiming his two main sources of income were farming and business, a closer look at the document revealed that the governor declared 25 buildings in Abuja, Kano and Yobe states, valued at N3.1 billion.
Also, Buni declared that he has six farms valued at N591 million in Abuja and Yobe states.
Similarly, the APC National Caretaker Chairman declared that he has three filling stations valued at N425 million.
Disbelief is trailing the governor’s claim that he earns N42 million from a farm worth N7 million in Damaturu in the face of Boko Haram insurgency. Three of his cars he claimed are also worth N58.5 million.
A source at the CCB told SaharaReporters that investigation of the governor’s anticipatory declaration has gone far at the agency.
“They are doing everything to cover the scandal up but investigation is really ongoing. Even though his associates are doing everything to cover up the scandal, we believe President Muhammad Buhari won’t interfere and ensure proper probe of the scandal in line with his claims of zero tolerance for corruption,” the source told SaharaReporters.