The controversy surrounding the alleged N2.3 billion spent on burial by the immediate past governor of Bauchi State Mohammed Abubakar, as the figure is being brought to the front burner by Funds and Assets Recovery Committee constituted by the present administration.
The Special Adviser to the immediate past governor of Bauchi, Ali M. Ali, had debunked media report at the inception of the present PDP administration in the state that the contract for the supply of mahogany and shroud was awarded at a cost of N1.3 billion and not N2.3 billion as was being circulated in the media.
But a spokesman of the committee, Umar Barau Ningi, at a press conference in Bauchi, said contract for the supply of the materials was awarded by the immediate past administration to an array of companies, including one Engineering & Design Company between 2016 and January 2019.
According to the contract, Umar Ningi explained, the materials were to be supplied to Bauchi Central Cemetery, Azare, Misau, Ningi, Jama’are, Dass, Toro, Gamawa, Darazo, and Alkaleri cemeteries, and other ‘various locations’ not properly defined.
Ningi revealed that the pieces of mahogany woods to be supplied was 573, 000 at a cost of N1, 568, 033, 810, while the total number of shroud to be supplied was 66, 000 bundles at the cost of N820, 423, 360, thus putting the total contract sum at N2, 388, 457, 170,
He said; “This outrageous contract implied that at the worst-case scenario, at least 573, 000 people would have died within this period for the mahogany to be exhausted, while the total number of 198, 000 people must have died within the period for 66, 000 bundles of shroud to be exhausted.”
A relevant ministry in the state handling the two related matters has in the meantime, approached Governor Bala Mohammed for approval to supply more of such materials at over N1.5 million. Ningi said, however, that investigations would be concluded when the committee confirmed the death figures from various locations to access the true position of whether the materials could truly be said to have been exhausted.
Investigations by the media however, confirm that the death figure presently at the Bauchi Central Cemetery ever since the commencement of its use right from the past Yuguda administration that provided the cemetery was not up to 60, 000, according to officials overseeing the cemetery.