Heavily armed security personnel on Friday stormed the residence of a former Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mattawalle, in his hometown in Maradun and removed several vehicles.
An indigene of the town, Mohammed Ahmed, said the security agents, who were in large numbers, consisted of the police and men of the Department of State Services.
He said, “The security agents, who were mostly in police uniform, came to the former governor’s residence in the afternoon and forced the gate open.
“They went into the house, removed several vehicles and took them to the police station here in Maradun town.
“I counted 15 vehicles being removed from the house and taken to the police station.”
Efforts to talk to the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Yazid Abubakar, failed as he refused to pick up his calls despite several attempts.
Recall that Matawalle’s successor, Governor Dauda Lawal, had during his inaugural speech expressed disgust that his predecessor took away many vehicles and left an empty treasury.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Government has explained the operation that led to the recovery of vehicles taken away by the former governor.
In a statement on Friday in Gusau, the spokesperson for the governor, Sulaiman Idris, revealed that the police acted on a court order and a search warrant was obtained for the operation.
The statement read in part, “Recall that the Zamfara State Government has communicated officially to former Governor Bello Matawalle and his deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five working days.
“We also lodged an official complaint with the police on overriding public interest on wasteful looting of valuables including official vehicles.
“Consequently, the police sought a search warrant, which was duly given by the court and hence raided Matawalle’s residence in Gusau, Maradun Local Government, and another unidentified hideout.
“Over 40 vehicles were recovered, including three bulletproof vehicles and eight SUVs. “We want to reaffirm our commitment to recover all that belongs to the people. Our common resolve is to rescue and rebuild Zamfara. Recovering the proceeds of crime and public assets is a critical part of our rescue mission.”