(News investigators) Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has alleged that he is facing persecution by the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, AbdulRasheed Bawa, because he refused to give him $200,000 bribe.
On Thursday, the anti-graft agency revealed that Mr Matawalle is being investigated for allegedly diverting over N70 billion state funds.
But speaking during an interview with the BBC Hausa on Friday, Mr Matawalle denied embezzling the state funds.
“Investigations are good, and I’m not against it. But let it not be selective. It should be holistic and not limited to governors. Is it only governors that have access to government funds, the Ministers are there; let him also invite them for a probe,” he said.
Mr Matawalle also asked Mr Bawa to submit himself for investigation over corruption allegations against him.
“I’m also challenging him [Bawa] to present to the world the documents he said he had against us [governors]. Then he should also submit himself for a probe because there are a lot of corruption allegations hanging around his neck.
“There are over 200 people who are willing to testify against him and tell the world that his hands are sucked in corrupt practices.
“He knows what is between us, he requested a favour from me and I refused him, so he has chosen to blackmail me, but I’m not bothered.
“All the allegations against me are blatant lies. He requested a $2 million bribe from me and I refused him, I have my witnesses.
Mr Matawalle said during a meeting between them, the EFCC boss accused him of not visiting his office the way other governors do.
When contacted by the BBC to get his reaction, Mr Bawa said that although no human being is 100 percent clean, he challenged Mr Matawalle to expose any fraud record against him.