By Hassan Sani Indabawa
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) is set to probe the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of the anti-graft commission, Barr Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, on Thursday, July 6, 2023. The decision to probe the former governor was in fulfillment of a promise he made when he was reinstated by the NNPP-led administration as the head of the PCACC.
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This is good for the political development of the state and we hope the former governor will honor the invitation and appear before the commission to clear the air behind the embarrassing video clip.
However, the only snag is that, the head of the anti-graft body, Muhuyi Rimingado may not be fair as he was removed as the commission’s Chairman on January 25th, 2023 by Ganduje, when they parted ways.
The Kano State House of Assembly suspended the Chairman of the state Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission, Muhyi Magaji in July 2021. Mr Magaji was suspended for a month over his alleged opposition to the posting of an accountant to the agency from the Office of the Accountant-General of the state.
Rimingado had a serious trouble with the Kano State House of Assembly during his probe when he sent a medical report purportedly obtained from the National Hospital, Abuja. The Medical Report was in response to his inability to honor an invitation of the House ad hoc committee probing him.
The National Hospital, Abuja, however, denied issuing any medical report to him. In a statement signed by its Director, Clinical Service/CMAC, Dr. A.A. Umar, the hospital also declared that there was no patient named Muhuyi Magaji Rimin-Gado in its record, adding that no folder was opened in that name.
The hospital, in a letter titled NHA/CMAC/GC/0117/2021/V:I/01, clearly refuted the laboratory test result said to have been conducted at the facility.
“Reference to your request letter KNHA/CON/077 dated 16th July, 2021, seeking to verify the authenticity or otherwise of Muhuyi Magaji’s attached medical report.
“There is no patient named Muhuyi Magaji in our hospital. That by our record the name and signature of doctor (Dr. Bayo) on the medical report do not belong to any staff of National Hospital Abuja,” Umar noted.
The medical facility was apparently responding to an enquiry made by the Kano State House of Assembly on the medical record of the then embattled anti-graft boss, who was facing probe before the lawmakers.
This led to his arrest, by the Police, on Thursday, April 28, 2020 in Abuja for forgery and eventually followed by his dismissal vide a letter of dismissal, dated January 24, 2023 which was signed by the Secretary to the Kano State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji.
“The dismissal was in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Law 2008 as amended. Accordingly, you are hereby formally issued with a dismissal letter”, the letter stated.
Ganduje may use this against the Commission and seek for court injunction against the Commission, by invoking the constitutional provisions of “fair hearing.”
Former Governor Kwankwaso, it would be recalled, refused to appear before Justice A. T. Badamasi commission of inquiry in 2003, leading to the publication of a White paper that haunted him for long before being lucky enough to be saved of its instrument due to the influence of Obasanjo administration.
Who knows if Ganduje can as well be shielded of the Kano State politically-motivated probe, by the Tinubu administration.
The same PCACC under the leadership of Rimingado had in June, 2020, opened an investigation of the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on anti-corruption charges over alleged N2.2 billion land scam.
Sanusi, responding to Rimingado’s move, had approached the Kano Federal High Court on March 6, 2020, with intentions of stopping the PCACC’s invitation to him to come and explain his role in an alleged land transaction scam.
However, Justice Lewis Allagoa, of the Federal High Court, dismissed the fundamental human right suit filed by the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission and Rimingado, its chairman, as well as the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.
According to the judge, the anti-graft commission and its chairman had the jurisdiction and powers to investigate Sanusi on the matter.
Judge Allagoa, in his ruling, said “the substratum of the entire case of the applicant collapsed” with the court’s decision that there has been no breach of the fundamental human right of the applicant, thereby dismissing all other claims as mere “academic”.
Therefore, for the public to take Rimingado and PCACC serious, all pending investigations and probes must be seen to be revisited if there was no ill-motive or vendetta behind the Ganduje saga.
Whatever, probing past administration is good for the polity, as succeeding administration may be careful by avoiding impunity and handling its affairs with care in fear of what might be their fate at the end of its tenure.
Hassan Sani Indabawa is a Public Commentator