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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

KANO ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS EMIR SANUSI’S INVESTIGATION



Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi ll, who has been under investigation for alleged fraud and improper conduct, got a reprieve yesterday.
The State House of Assembly suspended its investigation indefinitely on the request of Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.


House Speaker, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, announced this yesterday adding that the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had also intervened on behalf of the emir.

Others who had put in a word to save the emir were two former Nigerian leaders, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar  as well as  Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Aminu Dantata and national leaders of the ruling  APC.

Speaking to Daily Trust on phone, Rurum said Governor Ganduje, in a letter to the Assembly pleaded with the lawmakers to suspend the probe indefinitely.

Rurum said the lawmakers reconvened from their break to deliberate on the letter and to finally stop the investigation.

He said: “Governor Ganduje has explained everything to us and we are convinced that the emir deserved to be forgiven since he has accepted his mistakes and promised not to repeat them again.

“The governor told the house in the letter that based on the personal remorse by the emir and intervention of various personalities he is pleading with us to stop the investigation.

“It is based on this that we have succumbed to his request and completely stopped our investigation.

“We stopped the investigation not because we don’t have the mandate to do it, but because we also want peace and harmony to continue in our dear state. Because we want the government, the emirate council and the house to continue to work peacefully,” he said.

He said 34 out of the 40 members of the house attended the sitting and they had all voted in support of stopping the investigation.

However, he said, a special ad-hoc committee had been set up to amend the Kano emirate council’s laws with a view to consolidating them. Some of the laws were enacted between 10 to 40 years without amendment.

He said the ad-hoc committee comprised house committees on the judiciary, legal and local government and chieftaincy affairs. Some principal officers will also participate in the assignment, he added.

The committee is headed by the House Majority Leader, Yusuf Abdullahi Ata and it has three months within which to complete its work and submit its report.

Emir Sanusi came under two separate investigations by House of Assembly and the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The House investigation was launched following a motion by a member from Nassarawa local government, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmad Gama.

Following the motion, the state assembly constituted a 7-man ad-hoc committee headed by a member representing Warawa Local Government in Alhaji Labaran Abdul Madari to probe the eight-count charge levelled against the emir.

The offences include the emir’s accusation against Governor Ganduje and the state legislators of mismanaging the resources of the state while on a trip to China; his remarks on the proposed Kano light rail project and an alleged intentional attack on President Muhammadu Buhari.

Others were embezzlement of funds belonging to the emirate, tarnishing the image of the emirate by assigning his daughter to represent him at a public function, introducing strange religious issues and involvement in politics.

The Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission investigation preceded the House probe and it involved allegation of embezzlement of over N6bn Kano Emirate Council funds.

Responding to the development, the Chairman of the Commission, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, said the commission’s work remained suspended as well.

He said: “We suspended our investigation into the questionable expenditure by the Kano emirate council pending the outcome of the Assembly’s investigation. This is in line with the provisions of section 16 of the commission’s law which prevents us from investigating any matter that is before the State Assembly, the Executive and or court.

“The suspension of investigation by the state assembly does not in any way give us a right to re-launch our investigation because the house did not say it has dismissed the matter, rather it suspended it which means the case is still before it. So, for this, the commission is still prevented by section 16 from further investigation into the matter.

“We are operating under law and we must respect the laws governing the affairs of the commission. But Alhamdulillah, we have achieved more than 80 per cent of the investigation before the state assembly took over the case.”

Emirate Council welcomes suspension

Commenting, Walin Kano and member of the Kano state Emirate Council, Alhaji Mahe Bashir Wali, described the suspension as a welcome development and commended the lawmakers for their foresight regarding the matter.

“Maa-shaa Allah, this is a welcome development. We have thanked the governor and the entire members of the Kano state house of assembly for being considerate in their decision.

“The emir is in Kaduna attending a meeting summoned by the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, if I am able to get him, I will communicate to you and give detailed response, but if I am not then the council will give detailed response tomorrow (today).”

Also commenting on the development, a renowned human rights activist and lawyer, Audu Bulama Bukarti, said going by the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive, judiciary and legislative arms of government, the governor had no power to stop the assembly from investigating any government institution.

Bukarti explained that section 128 of the Nigerian Constitution had empowered the state assembly to probe any government organisation, ministry and parastatal on suspected inadequacies, corruption, inefficiencies and waste of resources for the purpose of correcting the anomalies.

He said, “Going by the provisions of this section, it is the assembly that is empowered to investigate the executive not the executive to stop the assembly from discharging its statutory duty. However, the recent development has showed that the investigation of the emir by Kano state assembly was initially instigated by the governor.

“It means the state assembly is not in the first place investigating the emir for the collective interest of the people of Kano state because the person that instigated it has now stopped it.

“This is to tell you that there was sinister motive behind the assembly’s investigation; they are simply doing the bidding of the governor and that has exposed them as rubber stamp of the governor.”

Bukarti, said though he had welcomed the development because from the onset, the state assembly had power to investigate only one out of the eight-count charge levelled against the emir.

The development came barely 24 hours after a conglomeration of Civil Society Organizations under the auspices of Kano State Civil Society Organizations Forum, called on the state assembly to suspend the investigation
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