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Wow! Kano Government Uncovers Massive N4.3 Billion Agricultural Fraud Scheme

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KANO, Nigeria — The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, PCACC, has arrested eight Kano Agricultural Supply Company Limited, KASCO, personnel over alleged embezzlement of N4.3 billion in less than a year.

The commission’s investigators also confiscated eight warehouses filled with assets including heavy-duty trucks, Hilux vehicles, thousands of bags of fertilizer, soya beans, cement, and Guinea corns.

These are suspected to have been purchased with the money allegedly diverted from government coffers through two private entities.

The anti-graft commission’s boss, Muhuyi Magaji, detailed the investigation findings during a media briefing on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Kubmotso LGA of the state.

“This Association of Compassionate Friends was registered as an incorporated trustee in 2019 to promote and advance the eradication of begging by children of the less privileged in the society, while Limestone Processing Links is a registered business name that got N480 million,” Magaji said.

Agricultural Kano
Warehouse with several vehicles including heavy-duty trucks, Hilux, thousands of bags of fertilizer, soya beans, cement and Guinea corns

According to court documents, the fraudulent operation involved siphoning funds from the Federal Allocation Account of Kano that were paid to KASCO as a grant.

“A source familiar with the investigation” revealed to journalists that KASCO paid over N3.2 billion to Association of Compassionate Friends in 12 separate tranches between August 19, 2022, and April 3, 2023.

Furthermore, payments of N480 million were made to Limestone Processing Links, and additional funds were channeled into private accounts.

The source also revealed specific details of the grant paid to KASCO: “N3.2 billion was paid to KASCO in between August and October, 2022, in the pretext of grant in different tranches of N1 billion on August 1, N350 million on October 5; N316 million and N991.6 million both on October 19; and N250 million and N350 million on October 20.”

The Managing Director of KASCO, Bala Inuwa Muhammad, who is said to be at large, has been listed as one of the nine respondents in the case, alongside other key personnel.

The confiscated property has been sealed and handed over to the police, following an order from the court in line with the law establishing the anti-graft commission.

Mr. Magaji revealed that the suspects arrested and others implicated in the investigation will be arraigned before a state High Court next week.

This case highlights the ongoing battle against corruption within Nigeria’s agricultural and public sectors, and it serves as a stark reminder that the fight against graft continues to be a pressing challenge in the nation’s journey toward transparent governance and economic development.

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