The Office of the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State has been rocked by alleged theft of an undisclosed amount of US Dollars.
It was also gathered that the Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe, has issued an ultimatum for the return of the alleged stolen funds.
According to a close aide of the deputy governor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the stolen amount is estimated to be equivalent to N20 million.
The incident, which occurred before the Christmas break, allegedly involves two security aides and a Protocol Officer in the deputy governor’s office.
The security aides and the protocol officer are suspected to have conspired to steal the money.
The close aide, who did not wish to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, stated that the trio, whose names are being withheld, allegedly stole the money and distributed it among themselves.
According to him, the security aides received the major share.
The aide claimed that the security aides purchased a vehicle and a motorcycle, while the protocol officer used his share, N3.5 million, to acquire a house.
The alleged stolen funds, reported to be in foreign currency, were said to belong to foreign investors interested in Lithium mining in Nasarawa State.
The money was allegedly left in a bag at the deputy governor’s office after a meeting involving three companies engaged in a mining rights dispute over sites in Nasarawa Local Government Area.
The source suggested that it is possible that the motive behind leaving the money at the deputy governor’s office after the meeting was to set him up.
“I think the money was left in the deputy governor’s office to set him up and indict him in a bribery scandal in order to rubbish his image for refusing to compromise or do their bidding,” the source said.
The source further disclosed that, upon discovering the alleged theft, Akabe initiated an independent investigation, which reportedly confirmed the involvement of the three persons.
The suspects have allegedly confessed to the crime, detailing how the stolen money was divided among them.
The deputy governor has since given the suspects an ultimatum to return the stolen funds in dollars, with the intention of returning it to the rightful owner, believed to be the foreign investors in the Lithium mining project.
The matter is currently under the purview of concerned security authorities.
The two security aides implicated in the incident are affiliated with the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
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