Alleged N3.4b fraud: Emir of Kano gets 48 hours to reply query

Barely three days after the state’s anti-graft agency recommended his suspension in a report on alleged N3.4 billion misappropriation by the Emirate Council under his watch, Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II got a query yesterday from the government.

The query titled: “Re-Report of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission”, was signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Alhaji.

He was given 48 hours to respond to the sundry allegations by giving “satisfactory explanations”.

The SSG reminded the monarch that the commission recommended his suspension in its report.

The anti-graft agency had on Monday indicted the emir and recommended his suspension.

The Chief of Staff to the Emir, Munir Sanusi, who confirmed the receipt of the query, said the state government sought the response of the Emir within 48 hours regarding allegations of misappropriation of funds.

He said: “We received the query today (Thursday). The state government has demanded the response of His Highness within 24 hours. The council is studying the content.”

It was learnt that the government issued the query to give the Emir the benefit of fair hearing on the allegations of N3.4 billion misappropriation.

In a preliminary report submitted on Monday, the commission recommended Emir Sanusi’s suspension to pave the way for an unfettered investigation into the allegations.

About N3.4 billion was allegedly misappropriated between 2014 and 2017.

The anti-corruption interim report raised four issues bordering on indictments, amount involved, obstruction of investigation and recommendations.

The report indicated that the Kano Emirate Council had spent over N1.4 billion in various expenditures believed to be fraudulent and unappropriated.

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In addition, the Emirate Council was alleged to have spent over N1.9 billion unappropriated on seemingly personal expenditures.

According to the report, the expenditures contravened the provisions of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 8 of the Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004.

Similarly, the expenditures allegedly violated Section 314 of Penal Code as well as provisions of Section 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended).

The report said: “It is also the opinion of this Commission, based on the available evidence, that Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II continued to undermine the investigation through various means which include giving instruction to all officers invited for clarification to shun the commission’s invitation.

“The act is seriously affecting the process of our statutory responsibility and offends the provisions of Section 25 of the Commission’s enabling Law 2008 (as amended).

“The report, therefore, recommended that the principal suspect in the person of Muhammadu Sanusi II and all other suspects connected with the case be suspended, pending the final outcome of the investigations.

“This is a necessary administrative disciplinary action aimed at preventing the suspects from further interfering with the commission’s investigations.

“The commission further recommends that the contract awarded to Tri-C Nigeria Limited for renovation of Babban Daki, Kofar Kudu and Gidan Sarki Dorayi should be revoked as the company belongs to one of the suspects in person of Alhaji Mannir Sanusi (the Chief of Staff in the Emirate).”

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According to the report, the company failed to settle the sub-contractor, Cardinal Architecture Ltd, after being duly paid.

It recommended that appropriate authority should be put in place to oversee the affairs of the Emirate Council in line with established statutes and policies, pending the final outcome of the commission’s investigations.

The report also recommended that further legal action should be taken against all the suspects after the conclusion of the investigations.

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