Former Niger govt officials in alleged vehicles auction scandal

By Tina George, Minna

Some past commissioners and permanent secretaries in Niger state are fingered to be involved in illegal auctioning of government vehicles at the tail end of the first tenure of governor Abubakar Sani-Bello. 

Five of these past commissioners and permanent secretaries were said to have sold the vehicles to themselves and family members at give away prices. 

Our reporter gathered that they acted without following due process or involving the transport officer or store keepers in the auctioning, which was said to have taken place on the eve of the second tenure of Sani Bello.

The illegal auctioning was brought to the open when a group of civil servants who call themselves ‘Concerned Staff’, petitioned the state government about the incident. 

A copy of the letter obtained by our reporter written by “Concerned Staff of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism”, alleged that the Commissioner and the Permanent Secretary (name withheld) connived and auctioned to themselves, two Hilux vans belonging to the ministry.

The petition said the two Hilux vans were tagged to be “unserviceable” and auctioned at the rate of N350,000 each, adding that the auctioning was in complete disregard to procedures for auctioning of government properties.

The staffs alleged that the “unserviceable” vehicles were the only useable utility vehicles belonging to the ministry, adding that they “were in sound, health, effective and serviceable condition” as the vehicles had been recently undergone total maintenance. 

The acting Head of Service, Mallam Shuaibu Adamu Suleja, who confirmed the receipt of the petition, said the state government had set up the investigation committee to look into the allegations.

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