…As EFCC probes his presidential campaign fund
…PSC wades into cancellation of mass wedding
From James Ojo and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
As the police continued to lay siege to the Constituency Office of former governor of Kano state, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, over attempt to organise a mass wedding, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched an investigation into his 2015 presidential election campaign fund.
Kwankwaso, the immediate past governor of Kano State came second after President Mohammadu Buhari in the keenly contested primaries.
Towards the end of his tenure, some state government officials petitioned EFCC, alleging that Kwankwaso diverted local government allocations to fund his presidential campaign.
He was accused of using his influence as governor to direct each of the 44 councils in the state to contribute N70 million. The total amount which is about N3 billion was allegedly used to find his failed presidential bid.
Investigating the petition, it was found that the money which was initially paid into the Joint Local Government Account was diverted to fund his presidential campaign.
Sources confirmed that the petitioners supplied vital documents on the alleged fund diversion which prompted the commission to begin investigation. The investigation led to the invitation of former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi and former State Accountant General, Mahmud.
It was believed that Mahmud was recently sacked by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje because of frequent visit to EFCC.
Some local government chairmen connected with the campaign fund had been quizzed by the agency, as it was learnt that some were on administrative bail.
Efforts to speak to the former presidential aspirants yesterday proved abortive as his line was switched off. When contacted, his aide, Muhammed Inuwa picked his call, but when asked to comment, he laughed and dropped the call. Further attempts to speak to him were rebuffed as he refused to take any call made to his GSM line.
Kwankwaso’s fresh trouble arise when he planned to organise mass wedding for over 200 couples scheduled for last Saturday in his home in Kano, which the state government warned against.
Meanwhile, Police Service Commission has ordered a high-powered probe into the cancellation of a the event.
Although Kano police chief cited security concerns as reasons for the stoppage, the chairman of the Police Service Commission, Inspector General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro, assured he would probe claims by members of the Kwankwasiyya group claiming violation of their fundamental human rights.
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Ali Madaki who presented the petition on behalf of members of the Kwankwasiyya group accused the police authorities of infringing on the rights of Senator Kwankwaso to discharge his responsibility to his constituents in Kano state.
Okiro promised to reach out to the inspector General of police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, as well as the police authorities in Kano to ascertain the veracity of the claims of members of the kwankwasiyya group.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose condemned Tuesday’s invasion and sealing of Kwankwaso’s residence, reiterating his earlier warning that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its supporters have built dictatorship round President Muhammadu Buhari by not joining other Nigerians to condemn his undemocratic acts.
I will have to listen to the other parties and investigate the matter. I assure you that action will be taken within a reasonable time frame regarding the petition.”