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How Bello Matawalle Allegedly Squandered Over A Billion Naira For Abandoned Hotel Service Centre – Zamfara Gov’t



Zamfara State Government presented documents revealing how Bello Matawalle blew over one billion for an abandoned catering rest house.

The immediate past administration of Former Governor and current State Minister for Defence, Bello Matawalle, misappropriated 1,011,801,545.79 billion Naira intended to construct a catering and hotel services centre (Gusau Motel) in the State capital.

In a statement issued in Gusau on Wednesday, the Spokesperson of the Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, emphasised the need for Bello Matawalle to explain the payment of 93% to 180 CIRCLE CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING LTD for a project of 1,149,288,084.25 billion Naira.

According to him, the state government publicly discloses these revelations to promote transparency and accountability and discourage financial banditry among public officials.

The statement read in parts: “In the interest of transparency, the Zamfara State Government deems it a responsibility to expose the numerous shady projects initiated by the immediate past administration of Bello Matawalle with the intention of misusing State funds.

“On July 16th, 2020, the previous administration of Bello Matawalle awarded a contract to 180 Circle Engineering Construction and Engineering LTD. The contract was to construct a catering and hotel service centre (Gusau Motel) in Gusau. The total cost of the contract was N1,149,288,084.25.

“On August 7th, 2020, Bello Matawalle approved the payment of mobilisation fees to the firm. The amount approved was N344,786,425.27. However, the contractor disappeared after receiving the payment and did not perform on-site work for a year. This action by Bello Matawalle was a gross violation of financial regulations.

“After a year, the contractor returned to the site but was instructed by the Ministry of Works to provide a written commitment not to repeat such behaviour. This incident indicates the type of leadership prevalent in a government like Matawalle’s.

“For the record, the public should take note of the following payments with the date of disbursements: On the 06 of July 2021, Bello Matawalle released the sum of N100,420,259.62 to 180 Circle Engineering Construction and Engineering LTD. On 27 August 2021, the construction firm received N257,060,936.72. On the 27th of August 2021, the Ministry of Finance paid N185,250,000.00 to the contractor.

“Furthermore, on the 24th of March 2022, the Ministry of Finance released the sum of N20,000,000.00 to 180 Circle Engineering Construction and Engineering LTD, totalling 1,011,801,545.79 billion Naira.

“Despite the illegal disbursement of the above funds to the contractor, construction of the multi-purpose hall, restaurant, laundry, badminton court, swimming pool, estate roads, soft and rugged landscape, external electrification, water reticulation, and perimeter fence has not yet commenced.

“N1,011,801,545.79 was certified and paid as per Ministry of Works and Transport valuation certificates, representing 93% of the total contract sum.

“It is worrisome to note that the contractor was overpaid the sum of 667,713,161.64 million Naira by Bello Matawalle and subsequently abandoned the project. The work done on-site, as presented in pictures, has been valued at N344,088,384.15, which represents 29.94% of the total progress.

“It goes against the principles of our government’s Rescue Mission and the trust placed in us by the people of Zamfara State to let financial misconduct go unpunished. We are committed to uncovering any actions that have breached the people’s trust and holding those responsible accountable. We are on a rescue mission!”

Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the Zamfara Governor
November 09, 2023


ONDEA Unveiled as Headline Sponsor For 2023 Lead Awards





Project Lead Africa is thrilled to announce Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) as the official sponsor for the 2023 Leadership Excellence and Dignity Awards. According to the organizers, the 2023 Lead Awards ceremony promises to be bigger and better, with the support of leading organizations driving innovation and growth within and outside Ondo State.


In a press statement made available to journalists in Lagos, the Principal Consultant and Executive Director, Project Lead Africa, Mr. Abiola Alaba Peters said “We are glad of this collaboration, having Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) as our headline sponsor for this year, is such a honor, the aim is to inspire more these generations to keep doing more for our dear Sunshine state”.


Also referred to as “Ondo State Most Prestigious” Leadership Excellence and Dignity Awards is an annual award ceremony that celebrates individuals and organizations that are proudly Ondo State indigenes.


Themed, ‘Celebrating High Achievers”, “the 2023 Lead Awards aims to unearth the giants of the Sunshine state that are yet to be celebrated” says the Project Director, Adebukola Oba, who also confirmed that the event will showcase a new wave of super creative and talented individuals, including organizations that are eager to take Ondo State to the next level.


On his part, the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Entrepreneurship Development, Dr. Summy Smart Francis (hc) stated that the ONDEA’s decision to sponsor the 2023 Lead Awards was borne out of the desire to inform, educate and encourage creative’s and other professionals, particularly young people in Ondo State.


Mr. Smart who is also the founder and President Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E) while thinking His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, for providing the platform for young people to thrive in the state, express his enthusiasm to speak and interact with fellow compatriots at this year Lead Awards.


While Lead Awards aim to drive collaboration, foster partnerships, and provide a platform for quality leaders to share insights that can shape future generations, Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency (ONDEA) which is an initiative of Akeredolu led administration, aimed at providing professional guidance to local entrepreneurs, empowers SMEs and MSMEs in Ondo State.


Associate sponsors for the 2023 Lead Awards include Dejavu Hotels, AutoProbe, Shaunze Royal and Aristo Games & Bristrol among others.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday 28 November arraigned a couple, Oriyomi Idowu and Ruth Idowu, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on 20-count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retention of stolen property, and forgery to the tune of N2,757,188,000.00 only.

The couple were arraigned alongside Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited and Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, which all belong to Ruth Idowu.

One of the counts reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd, Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, converted the sum of N10,000,000 to purchase a GLK Benz, purchase sum derived from converting the sum of N500,000,000 belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the funds.”

Another count reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, dishonestly retained the sum of N936,619,876 in your UBA bank account, property of Creditpro Business Support services knowing same to be funds fraudulently obtained from Creditpro Business Support Services.”

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to  them.

In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed the court for a trial date and the remand of the defendants  at a Correctional Facility.

Counsel to the first defendant, G. Onwubuya, informed the court of the bail application of his client, which had yet to be served on the prosecution.

He prayed the court to remand the defendants in the EFCC custody and also sought a short adjournment for the hearing and determination of the bail application.

In her objection, Buhari informed the court that the holding facility of the EFCC was already overstretched.

She also told the court that the appropriate place, following arraignment, was a Correctional Centre.

The Judge held that there was no bail application before the court for the second defendant, whose counsel, J.J. Ogunyemi, had yet to file.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the matter till December 15, 2023 and ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Correctional Centre “pending hearing and determination of their bail applications”.

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EFCC Arrests Music Executive, Ogbeni In Lagos For Alleged $250,000 Fraud




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a Nigerian music executive, Mr Efe Ogbeni, for alleged $250,000 fraud committed in the United States of America.

Ogbeni was arrested in Lagos State on Tuesday by EFCC operatives after he was traced to a hotel in the posh Ikoyi area, SaharaReporters gathered.

A source in the anti-graft commission also confirmed the arrest to SaharaReporters on Wednesday evening.

“He has been arrested by the EFCC. He was arrested at a hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday,” he said.

SaharaReporters had in July 2022 reported that Ogbeni was dragged before a United States District Court of Western Tennessee by Prime Reality Ventures LLC, a Venture Capital Company in the US, for allegedly defrauding the company and its Principal to the tune of $250,000.

The defendants, Onefeme Ogbeni, Olayinka Odunlami and Nelly Wambugu were facing numerous charges on conspiracy of obtaining money by false pretences.

According to the court documents obtained by SaharaReporters, Ogbeni alongside two others committed the crime between July 2021 and September 2021 in the US.

Prime Reality Ventures (the Company), said the suspected fraudsters intentionally and under false pretences presented a dummy investment opportunity in the African oil and gas industry which turned out to be a sham.

According to the company, sometime in July 2021, the defendants approached the organisation and its owners about investing in the African oil and gas market.

“Efe Ogbeni and his co-defendants falsely presented themselves as being versed and having the requisite skill and expertise and contacts in and outside of Africa,” it said.

“Interested to diversify their investment portfolio, the company arranged meetings between the plaintiff and the defendants. Along the line, the defendants intentionally told Reality Ventures LLC and owners that there were other investors involved in the project and one of them is willing to sell his equity in the project.

“The Company was asked to wire the sum of $250,000 which will be used in purchasing the equity of Quantex Oil and Gas in the project. The Company was meant to believe that the valuation of Quantex Oil and Gas in the project is worth $10,000,000.

“Relying upon all the representations made by the defendants, on or about September 17, 2021, the plaintiff invested and wired the sum of $250,000 from their bank account at Patriot Bank in Tennessee to the defendants.

“Prime Reality Ventures LLC was asked to wire the fund to Stealth Management Inc, a company allegedly owned by the defendants claiming it had a binding agreement with Quantex Oil and Gas. The plaintiff amongst others is asking for damages of $1m, the repayment of the initial $250,000 invested in the project as well as other costs and expenses of this litigation plus punitive damages,” the company said.

SaharaReporters had reported that the case was also referred to the EFCC in Nigeria for further action.


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