The Kano emirate has stated its readiness for a probe into its expenditures being planned by the state Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Agency.
The agency has moved to investigate the Muhammadu Sanusi-led Emirate Council over an alleged misappropriation of billions of naira supposedly left behind by his predecessor, the late Alhaji Ado Bayero.
The agency is to probe activities in the emirate beginning from 2015, when the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor ascended the throne. The probe comes a few days after an online publication allegedly disclosed plans by some northern governors to dethrone the monarch.
They were said to have been embarrassed by the position of the emir on their planned foreign loans, particularly the alleged $1.85 billion facility to be taken from the Chinese government for a light rail project in the state.
It was learnt that the summons ordered the secretary and treasurer to the council to report to the agency’s headquarters on May 2, 2017, to explain the alleged financial recklessness and, perhaps, justify the legal framework under which the expenditure was made.
When contacted on phone, the agency’s chairman, Muhuyi Magaji Rimin-Gado, who neither denied nor confirmed the development, said he was not ready to dwell on any issue under investigation.
But a dependable source confirmed the issuance of the summons, saying, “The agency is truly investigating the emirate council and, already, we have invited the secretary and treasurer to appear before us in May.”
Asked what prompted the probe at this time, he maintained that the agency was acting on a petition from a citizen accusing the council of financial recklessness under the current emir. The council confirmed receipt of the summons signed by the agency’s Director of Operations, Sulaiman Gusau, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
The Chief of Staff to the Emir, Alhaji Manir Sanusi, declining comments due to his ‘incapacity’ to speak on the subject-matter, referred journalists to the Financial Controller of the emirate and Wali Kano, Alhaji Mahe Bashir Wali, who later confirmed the development said “We actually received a letter from the commission; I mean the anti-graft agency, Kano State-owned, yesterday, requesting the secretary and treasurer of the council to appear before them next month; that is all.”
The traditional title holder declined to speak further on the content or alleged financial misappropriation in the council. The monarch reportedly said at the just-concluded Kaduna Investment Summit that the proposed foreign loan would be a wasteful venture and misplacement of priority. He was further quoted as saying that the plan would never add any impetus to the socio-economic value of the people but, rather, leave the state with an incurable infectious debt.
Shortly after Sanusi’s public outburst, another publication was reported to have shown online a supposed outrageous spending and extravagant disposition of the emir. The statement indicated how the monarch authorised billions of naira from the emirate council’s coffers.
Reacting, the Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, who spoke from China, however, denied government’s involvement in the probe. He insisted that the anti-graft agency was an independent body entrusted with a responsibility to be discharged without fear or favour.