The former chairman of Gudu Local Government Council in Sokoto State, Alhaji Bello Bachaka, has disclosed that he sold off his official vehicle to pay those that abducted his wife and two children.
He said he paid the kidnappers over N4 million as ransom while testifying before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry constituted by the Sokoto State Government to investigate sales and auctions of govt property.
Bachaka, who served as the local government chairman between April 2021 and April 2023 told the commission’s presiding judge, Justice Mu’azu Pindiga.
According to him, towards the end of his tenure, his wife and two of his children were kidnapped and such a situation necessitated him to sell government-owned Toyota Hilux vehicle and pay ransom to the bandits to free his families.
He said; “I sold the vehicle that was monetised to me at the cost of N4.2 million, which was deducted from my over N5 million total gratuity and severance allowances.
“I have no option than to dispose of the monetised Toyota Hilux vehicle to pay the ransom to the bandits. After bargaining with the kidnappers, I took the said amount to the bandit in one of the villages in Wurno Local Government Area of the state where I paid them the money, after which they freed and handed over the abductees to me safely.”
The former LGA Chairman pleaded with the Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto-led state government to consider his present predicament.
“I was invited to give what I know about the Toyota vehicle which was monetised to us by the former Sokoto State administration. The vehicles were auctioned to us with the agreement that the state government would pay vehicles money from our benefits, emoluments, gratuities and furniture allowance benefits to settle the payments of the vehicles.
“Government should consider our present predicament as our balance has not been paid. We were not given a single kobo in the name of our retirement benefit despite that we served for two years as local government chairmen.
“The former administration had deducted a huge amount from our furniture and gratuities allowance to pay for the Hilux Toyota vehicles and they have not given us any documents to prove the payments for the vehicles,” Bachaka added.