EFCC drills NSC boss for six hours

Alhassan Yakmut

Alhassan Yakmut

FOLLOWING his alleged involvement in financial crimes, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday drilled for over six hours the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Al-Hassan Yakmut, before he was granted bail on self-recognition.

The EFCC, The Guardian learnt, went for Yakmut after many petitions, some of which accused him of involvement in corrupt practices and financial scam since his confirmation as the commission’s boss.

Confirming ordeal in the hands of the anti-corruption officials, Yakmut said the agency invited him to its headquarters in Abuja last week and grilled him for six hours. According to him, some aggrieved persons who felt it was their “birthright’ to appoint the NSC chief had petitioned EFCC, alleging that he was a creation of the immediate past Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, simply to siphon funds.

They also accused him of siphoning funds in the recent award of contracts for solar light at the Abuja National Stadium, as well as embezzling the money earlier released for the All Africa Games.

According to Yakmut, “the petitioner did not mention that I have a masters degree but that I was desperate to become the director-general. I don’t know how one who has spent 25 years in a sports commission, a core professional with a masters degree, and who has also attempted a permanent secretary examination and passed it last year could be declared desperate.

“I was not excited at the request but I refused to be agitated. We presented all the facts they requested, which fathomed that we had put 43 streetlight poles worth N21 million to secure the athletes’ hostel and entrance into the stadium.

“We also explained how we spent N109 million on the athletes preparing for the All Africa Games. The sum was approved by the MTB and the minutes signed by eight of nine directors, which maximally met the Due Process.”

Yakmut added: “The petitioner also claimed that we were sponsoring the family of the former minister (the minister lost his wife 10 years ago and his two children are in primary and secondary schools).
“We also showed them the approval for the N750 million, which was clearly stated that it was strictly for the athletes’ preparation for the All Africa Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as participation in sporting activities.
“When we gave them the expenditure lists, it was obvious that so far, N685 million has been expended and that all the athletes are in camp. What it means is that we are being investigated before the All Africa Games.
“A day before the invitation, Mr. President had granted approval for our participation. So, the EFCC wondered whether they were investigating an allegation of an expenditure carried out before the event or after the event.”

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