- The Kano state House of Assembly has revealed why the emirate is being probed
- According to the Speaker of the House, Alhassan Rirum, the exercise is not connected with the EFCC or any other antigraft agency
- Rirum said the process is aimed at clearing the air of doubts as regards the integrity of the Kano emirate
Alhassan Rirum, the Speaker of the Kano state House of Assembly, has said that the investigation of the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi, by the House was not connected to a similar exercise being undertaken by an agency of the executive.
The Kano public complaints and anti-corruption commission had earlier last week announced that it had opened inquiry into alleged misappropriations of funds of the Kano Emirate Council, initially reported to run into about N6 billion, from the time Mr. Sanusi became the emir in 2014.
But according to the speaker on Thursday, May 11, the investigation by the legislators centres on the emir and was strictly informed by a motion raised by a member representing Nassarawa state constituency, Ibrahim Gama.
Mr Gama had on Wednesday leveled eight charges against the monarch and urged the house to quickly carry out an investigation.
The allegations include defamation of character, breach of oath of office/oath of allegiance, abuse of office privileges and protocol, and political and religious interference.
NAIJ.com gathered that the other charges were alleged unguided utterances, misappropriation of public funds, misrepresentation at public gatherings and undue criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari/APC-led government.
The motion was seconded by the member representing Kano Municipal constituency, Babba Dan’Agundi, and unanimously adopted by the House.
The House then constituted a seven-member committee to carry out the investigation.
Members of the investigative committee include the legislator representing Ajingi constituency, Abdul Madari, as chairman, member representing Kano Municipal, Babba Dan’Agundi, as vice chairman and; member representing Kiru constituency, Kabiru Dachi.
Others are members representing Dambatta constituency, Sani Maidaji; Garko constituency, Abba Garko; and two officials from the legal department of the Assembly.
In a related development, NAIJ.com gathered that the Kano Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission has summoned a top member of the Kano Emirate Council, Abdullahi Ibrahim, as part of its investigations into the financial activities of the traditional institution.
A source close to the council told newsmen that the commission asked Mr Ibrahim, who holds the traditional title of Makaman Kano, to appear before it on Thursday.
Mr Ibrahim is also the palace councillor and one of the kingmakers of the emirate.
The source, who did not consent to being identified, said Mr. Ibrahim was directed to appear before the commision alongside two other palace officials.
According to Premium Times, the commission is looking into the management of the finances of the emirate.
Officials of the commission on Wednesday declined to speak on record with newsmen on the reason why the council officials were asked to appear.
But a source reiterated that Mr Sanusi was not the focus of its investigation. He said the inquiry was into financial management by the emirate council as an institution.
The commission is investigating alleged misappropriations of funds of the emirate council initially reported to run into about N6 billion from the time Mr. Sanusi became the emir in 2014.
Following the allegations, the emirate council had clarified its finances.
“Before the appointment of Muhammadu Sunusi ii, the Council has the sum of N2,875,163,431.17 in fixed accounts in various banks, out of which N981,784,503.79 was withdrawn and used during the late Emir Ado Bayero on February 7, 2014 for the payment of his Royal City Project, leaving behind a balance of N1,893,378,927.38 in the various banks,” Mahe Bashir Wali, who is in charge of the finances of the council, had said.
“The sum of N1,893,378,927.38 was the exact amount inherited by Emir Muhammadu Sunusi ii, against the alleged claim of N6 billion”, Mr. Wali stated.
He said out of that amount, N152,627,723.00 was paid to a company, Dabo Gate, for supply of furniture to the palace.
“You should know that after the demise of Emir Bayero, all his belongings, including the furniture, were removed and distributed to his heirs in accordance with Islamic injunction”.
He added that the council spent N4,314,476,542.94 between June 8, 2014 and April 11, 2017 “as against the alleged N6 billion.
“This is because the Council operates mainly on budget as approved every year by the Council and all these while no expenditure was ever made outside the budgetary provision.”
Mr Wali further denied that the council bought two Rolls Royce Executive cars for the emir, adding, “the two Rolls Royce cars were donated to him by his friends, they were not purchased by him”.
Similarly, he debunked allegation that the emir spent N9,071,000.00 as air ticket fares, stating that the figure in respect of that line of expenditure was N13,722.000.00.
“Out of that,h the Council raised payment vouchers of N6,993,203.00 and N5,560,235.00 to Western Union, being the cost of air tickets for the Emir’s entourage alone, excluding himself because he used to pay for his tickets”.
“The sum of N9,071,000.00 was the money the Council spent on chartered flights twice for His Highness on a trip to Sokoto to pay traditional homage to the Sultan and to Benin for his installation as Chancellor of University of Benin”.
He further explained that N108 million was paid to the heirs of the late Emir Bayero in respects of personal cars belonging to him and inherited by Emir Sunusi ii.
Mr. Wali said the N15,458,660 alleged to have been travelling expenses was for “construction and renovation of Fadancin Dare wing of the palace”.
“Let me also clarify that two bullet proof vehicles were purchased at N142,800,000.00 “on the advise and approval of the state government vide SSG letter No SSG/D/A/36/TI/109 of 17th September 2014”.
He said the approval was informed by an attack on the late Emir Bayero on his way home from the Murtala Mohammed mosque.
“Similarly, N154.873,00.00 was paid for the purchase and replacement of vehicles that were destroyed when Emir Bayero was attacked by Boko Haram”.
Also the Emirate Council said it paid N37,054,192.06 to a mobile telecoms firm for roaming charges incurred on a local number the Emir uses and had long been identified with.
Wali said his clarifications were in response to publications by some online and other media and not to join isssues with the state government or anti-corruption commission
The commission had insisted that its investigation was continuing, stressing that it was not targeted at anybody.