Former Governor Bukola Saraki, his successor Abdulfatah Ahmed, and other former government officials named in alleged economic sabotage against the state through sales of public assets to cronies at giveaway prices should be prosecuted in court, a white paper committee has urged Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Chairman of the White Paper Panel on the unlawful sales of government’s properties from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2019 Barrister Hussein Buhari said during the submission of the report that findings in the report were mind boggling and said nothing short of diligent prosecution, possible jail terms and recovery of many of the properties can avenge the “official connivances” that led to the pilferage of the assets.
He said the former Governors and many of their aides have questions to answer on how public properties and shares were sold under questionable circumstances, including on the eve of their departures from public offices.
Buhari said none of these officials honoured the invitations for them to clear the air on the deals, and said the administration should prosecute them as a matter of justice — a request the Governor said has been noted for action.
His words: “The committee swung into action immediately it was inaugurated and went through the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the sales of Kwara State Government Assets between May 1999 and May 2019. There are so many rots perpetrated by the past governments especially in the
16 years before 2019.
“For instance, the rots on Shonga Farms, Satellite Motel, and our properties in Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos were simply inconceivable. They were all sold to themselves at giveaway prices. We saw criminal conspiracies. In fact, Kwara State is now heavily indebted to some people because the past governments mismanaged our properties. I just wish Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will have the courage and political will to implement the report so that everybody found wanting will be brought to book. And the Electoral Act is very clear that anybody who is found guilty of mismanagement of resources be banned for 10 years from holding political office. We wish the government will accept our recommendations and set up an implementation committee.
“There are so many instances where those in government before used their positions to acquire government properties in questionable circumstances. For instance, the High Court Complex in Tanke, Ilorin they removed all the steels and allocated the land to themselves, they built hotels and eateries on government properties. All our houses in Kaduna have been sold. Today, apart from our liaison office, we do not have anything in Kaduna.
“Government should take them to court and prosecute them for economic sabotage and, if found guilty, the government should ban them from holding political offices for 10 years.
“Also, some ministries, Bureau of Lands, Surveying Office and many other offices had shady deals with our land in Kwara State. So, anyone involved should be sanctioned and prosecuted according to the civil service rules. Even if they have retired, they should be brought to book because the connivance was too much. Look at what happened at KWTV. They sold almost all the land at KWTV to themselves. Despite the fact that you must live certain metres away from television mast, those rules were jettisoned.
“Also, Noktel Hotel is built right on top of aquifer which supplies water to Agba Dam, Ilorin. What we observed is unbelievable. So, for the hotel, we recommend outright demolition of it. Because they knew what they were doing. They have now blocked water from flowing to the dam.
“Based on what we discovered, the people that were in the helms of affairs for the past 16 connived to perpetrate evils and they were given ample opportunities to defend themselves by the judicial panel of inquiry and they refused to come. It shows they were accomplices in the whole deals.
“Also, our shares, bonds and stocks were sold out within five weeks of their leaving office. These are worth billions of naira. Even, the Amoyo International Market in which they claimed that they bought land for over N400m and paid about N200m and also swapped 10 pieces of our land in Abuja for Amoyo land by Harmony Holdings Limited. Personally, Bayo Sanni and Tope Daramola need to be brought to book on the issue.
“On Kwara Mall, it is sad that Kwara State Government put down the sum of N500m, gave land and C of O over the land and they used the C of O to collect another loan in a bank worth N500m and brought nothing to the Kwara State Government. In fact, the sharing formula is 70% to 30%. That is, 30% to the state government that put down everything.
“On Shonga Farms, you brought 13 farmers and you gave them land and huge money in foreign currency and yet nothing was remitted to the state government. They did not stop at that. They mortgaged the same land and collected money from different banks. We also found out that most of the government officials that involved in all these are deliberately working against the government of the day for selfish reasons. It is impunity. They are working for their pay masters, and not the citizens of Kwara State.”
Apathy mars PDP congress in Kwara, As Prominent Members Stay-off
There was low turnout of members of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, during the state congress held in Kwara state, today, September 25th 2021.
The internecine war within the state chapter of the party may likely be responsible for this poor turnout of party members for the congress.
Prominent among the causes of this boycott is the power play between the former President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and a former Minister and current Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies , NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman.
A group loyal to Sulaiman had in press release prior to today’s congress stated that the current executives who were elected in 2018 are expected to spend four years tenure according to the Constitution of the party, vowing to drag the party to court.
Findings show that the former Kwara political lord has received the blessings of the national leadership of the party to change the executives of the party in Kwara state and take control, a development which surprisingly is being resisted by Sulaiman, a beneficiary of Saraki’s patronage, having been assisted with his present appointment during Saraki’s reign as President of the Senate.
According to an inside source, Sulaiman had been avoiding prior political interface with Saraki, choosing to offer excuses for his absence at pressing political engagements.
Many prominent members of the party also stayed away from the Congress in apparent support for the constitutional rights of the present executives across the 16 local government areas of the state.
With this face-off, there is the likelihood of a forced takeover of the Kwara PDP by Saraki, since he enjoins the support of the national secretariat of the party.
The fate of the executives and members loyal to Sulaiman is dangling, and may be determined at a meeting to hold sometime next week in Ilorin.
AbdulRazaq Greets APC Spokesman On Birthday Anniversary
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated the State Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Alhaji Folaranmi Tajudeen Aro, praying the Almighty God to grant him more fulfiiing years ahead.
The Governor described the politician as a committed, consistent and fearless democrat who promotes his beliefs wholeheartedly.
“I felicitate Alhaji Aro, as he is fondly called, on his birthday anniversary today. His service and commitment to party discipline and growth are beyond doubt. Alhaji Aro is a frontline advocate of this administration and its laudable pro-people programmes, as can be seen in his activities,” the Governor said in a statement.
“I pray the Almighty Allah to bless him with good health and long life, and grant him his aspirations in life.”
Man Allegedly Kills Brother For Rituals In Kwara
The Kwara State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested one lsmail Saliu, 25, for allegedly conspiring with a herbalist and one other, to slaughter his brother.
The NSCDC Command Spokesman in Kwara, Babawale Afolabi, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, in Ilorin.
Afolabi said that Saliu conspired with two others, and killed his 14-year-old younger brother, Azeez Saliu, with the intention of using him for money rituals.
The spokesman said that the incident happened on September 13, 2021 in Kosubosu, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara.
“On Sept. 13, operatives of the NSCDC in Kosubosu Divisional Office got a distress call from a neighbourhood about suspicious movement of certain individuals in the area.
“Some officers from the divisional office, with operatives of the Anti-Vandal patrol team in the area, swung into action and subsequently arrested a herbalist Ahmed Nkwe 44, lsmail Saliu 25 and Saliu Ahmed 30,” Afolabi said.
The spokesman said that investigations revealed that the suspects lured the victim to the farm, where he was gruesomely murdered by his own brother, Saliu.
He said that the suspect and his accomplices were later arrested by operatives of the NSCDC on their way back from the farm.
Afolabi said that the prime suspect and brother to the deceased confessed to having personally slaughtered his brother with the help of the herbalist and one other person.
He said that the State Commandant, Ayinla Makinde, was briefed on the incident, and had ordered that the suspects should be handed over to the police, for further investigations and prosecution.
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