The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has commenced investigations over allegation of $150 million fraud against some officials of the Kwara State Scholarship Board.
In a statement signed by the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday, the agency said its operatives interrogated officials of the Board, including the chairperson, Fatimoh Yusuf, the Executive Secretary, Fatai Lamidi and the Board’s Accountant, Stephen Ajewole, among others.
The EFCC said an investigation showed that the state government budgeted and released the said amount in 2017 and 2018 for about 10,000 students as bursary allowance.
According to the commission, investigations further revealed that the board did not pay up to 4,000 students but fraudulently converted the balance to personal use.
The agency added that the names of students in various higher institutions appeared as beneficiaries of the state bursary allowances scholarship board “but never received the money”.
”It was gathered that the Kwara State Government in 2017 and 2018 released the sum of one hundred and fifty million naira as bursary allowance for ten thousand students in various tertiary institutions who are indigenes of Kwara State,” the EFCC said.
”The Commission gathered that the board did not pay up to 4000 students but fraudulently converted the balance to personal use.
”Names of students in various higher institutions of learning allegedly appeared as beneficiaries of bursary allowances at the Kwara State Scholarship Board but never received the money.
”In the course of the investigation, the students who sighted their names, matriculation numbers and signature became very angry, insisting that their signatures were forged.
”They claimed not to have been the original beneficiaries of the controversial bursary allowance despite their particulars on the scholarship board documents.
”The officials of the board had earlier told the operatives of the anti-graft body that the students were issued cheques but the Commission discovered that only a few beneficiaries received a cash payment.”
The EFCC in July arrested the Director-General, Kwara State Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SME), Segun Soewu, over an alleged N2 billion fraud.
It also arrested six other microfinance bank managing directors for alleged fraudulent misappropriation and mismanagement of funds.