Legal Nigeria

Kaduna Assembly commences probe of El-Rufai’s administration

Kaduna Assembly has set up a 13-man adhoc committee to investigate financial transactions, loans, grants and projects execution under the immediate-past Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

The constitution of the adhoc committee followed a motion by member representing Kaura Constituency, Hon. Yusuf Mugu.

Mugu said it was a matter of public importance that the loans borrowed by the former governor be investigated arguing that there is a need for the people of the state to know what the loans were used for.

According to him: “There have been uncompleted comments and assassinations of character on the leadership of the state, which the assembly cannot sit and watch. That is why I came up with this motion that the Speaker constitute a committee to investigate the allegations and negative comments on them.

“This is the only way the state can rekindle its confidence in its development partners, collaborators, and also those who give us loans and grants; failure to do this will push the indicators of the state to a situation whereby nobody will want to do business with us.”.

Former Speaker Yusuf Zailani, who also spoke on the issue, noted that he suffered during the El-Rufai administration, adding that he denied approval of some of the loans but the Governor still found his way.

Zailani, who is also a member representing Igabi West constituency, said: “I suffered a lot in order not to give approval for the loan to be collected; even the then deputy Speaker Isaac Auta Zankhai was against me because I disagreed with the loan to be collected. I told the then-governor to look at the number of loans we had on hand, and he didn’t listen to me.”.

Samuel Kambai, a member representing Zangon Kataf, and Hon. Henry Zachariah Marah, a member representing the Jaba constituency, explained the duty of the legislators is to give approval before the Governor goes ahead to collect loans, but in Kaduna, the case was different.

The duo urged the committee to summon the 8th and 9th assembly Speakers along with some members of the Assemblies to give explanations on how the loans were collected and spent.

Speaker Yusuf Dahiru Liman, who presided over the plenary session, urged the ad hoc committee to invite the Speakers of the 8th and 9th assemblies and all other relevant stakeholders and agencies for investigation.

He assured the House that the matter will be properly looked into, saying they will give everyone the liberty to speak the truth.

The House however unanimously requested to hand over notes given to Uba Sani by the previous administration so that it would guide the committee on the financial status of the State.

The 13-man committee includes Hon. Aminu Anti, representing Doka Gabasawa as Chairman; Hon. Yusuf Mugu Kaura as Deputy Chairman; Hon. Munira Tanimu, Hon. Shehu Yunusa as members and nine others

The panel, among others, was mandated to investigate El-Rufai’s top associate and senior counsellor on investment, Jimi Lawal.

The panel, according to the House, would probe financial dealings, loans and grants, and other project implementation from 2015 to 2023.

The Assembly also mandated the committee to invite notable personalities, including the former speakers of the 8th and 9th Assembly, commissioners of finance, former managing directors of Kaduna markets, and commissioners of budget and planning, among others.

Governor Uba Sani, during a town hall meeting with stakeholders, said the huge debts he inherited from El-Rufai were making it difficult for him to pay salaries as well as carry out projects.

Sani’s revelation generated some cracks within the Kaduna chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Source: The Nation Newspaper