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Four policemen and a civilian guard attached to the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Martins Babale, are been quizzed at the state’s Criminal Investigation Department, CID, for allegedly stealing relief materials donated to internally-displaced persons, IDPs, in various camps in the state.
The missing items include bags of 50kg parboiled rice, jerry cans of vegetable and palm oil, and other food ingredients deposited in a store located at the private residence of the Deputy Governor.
Sources disclosed that a trailer load of the items was offloaded into a store in the house located just behind Government House, Yola, under the watch of some Mobile Policemen, MOPOL.
A source said they allegedly conspired with some guides and aides to the Deputy Governor, and started stealing and selling the items in Vinokilang area.
However, luck ran out of the suspects Thursday, November 24, when one of the MOPOLS took a bag of rice and can of vegetable oil from the store. One of the civilian guards ordered him to return the items, the policeman refused.
The guard reported the matter to the Chief Security Officer to the Deputy Governor, who took the matter to Doubeli Police Station, where the DPO advised them to settle the matter among themselves.
They could not reach an agreement, which led them to the CID at the Police Headquarters.
A senior officer, who spoke to Vanguard in Yola on condition of anonymity, said the four mobile policemen and the civilian guard have been detained and have confessed to the crime.
The Deputy Governor is the chairman of the committee saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the distribution of relief materials meant for the IDPs in the state.
Since August, when Nigerian Customs Service brought in 11 trucks of seized items to the state, there have been allegations and counter-allegations of diversion of the materials by some government officials.
Information Commissioner reacts
However, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Ahmad Sajoh, dismissed the allegation of diversion, saying it must be the handiwork of mischief-makers, who want to frustrate Governor Muhammed Jibrilla’s administration.
He said: “Mischief-makers are at it again. My brother, the Deputy Governor’s impress is more than enough for him to buy such items they are talking about.
“Wallahi, even in our state exco meetings, the governor has been urging us to buy such items for onward distribution to our electorate to cushion the effect of the present economic recession.
“Whoever is behind this; it is not fair on us as a people. I promise you that I will personally intimate him (Deputy Governor) and get back to you with more clarifications.”