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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Ex-Governor Moves To Stop EFCC From Probing, Prosecuting Him Over Campaign Funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is not resting on its oars to bring to book former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

An investigation revealed that the Ibrahim Magu-led anti-graft agency is already beaming its searchlights on Mr. Kwankwaso over the pilferage of hundreds of millions of naira meant for the construction of five-kilometer roads in each of the 44 local government areas of Kano State.

The EFCC is particularly probing into why Mr. Kwankwaso, presently a senator serving the Kano State central senatorial district, approved 30 percent mobilization of the highly-publicized road project, each of which costs between N1-2 billion and more.

A source disclosed to our correspondent the reason behind the EFCC's investigation of the former governor.

"Concerned Kano citizens petitioned the EFCC. They are unhappy with Kwankwaso because he withdrew 30 percent of the contract sum of each of the road projects in the 44 local councils of Kano and either pocketed the money or gave it to his cronies. Practically zero roads have been completed. Maybe 5 percent. It is so bad and yet they collected the mobilization fee for the road project long ago," the source explained.

Mr. Kwankwaso, who made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency against President Muhammadu Buhari, is already attempting to avoid prosecution.

He is said to be using his old links to security operatives, inherited from his days as Defense Minister during the Obasanjo administration, to avoid the EFCC 's noose.

A source confided that as part of his desperate attempt to evade the wrath of the law, Mr. Kwankwaso met with a former two-term president to plead with President Buhari to let the matter lay low.

Before now, Mr. Kwankwaso had been battling with the EFCC over the source of his extravagant wealth, running into billions of naira he deployed for his campaign for the presidency.

Mr. Kwankwaso was said to have directed each local government chairman of the 44 councils in the State to contribute the sum of N70 million to his campaign, amounting to over N3 billion in total.

The money was sourced from the State and local government's joint account and delivered to his campaign team.

Irked by this, some officials secretly petitioned the EFCC after Mr. Kwankwaso left office in 2015.

"I can authoritatively tell you that we are investigating the former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, based on a petition we have received," the source stated.

The officials were said to have handed vital documents to the EFCC, which prompted the Commission to act swiftly and begin the investigation.

The Commission commenced investigations in 2015 and has since invited the erstwhile Secretary to the State Government, Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, and the former State Accountant General, Danjuma Mahmud, who has been a regular guest of the EFCC.

Our correspondent learnt that both Mr. Bichi and Mr. Mahmud were detained at one point of the investigation but were granted bail.

SaharaReporters further gathered that the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje relieved Mr. Mahmud of his position owing to the fact that he was regularly investigated by the EFCC, therefore distracting him from his duty post.

The source further added that recently some local government chairmen were detained and granted administrative bail by the EFCC in connection with the campaign fund.

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