These are not the best of times for the immediate past governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. In the past four years when he was in office he bestrode the state like the Lord of the Manor. Kano has the highest number of local governments in the country and Kwankwaso was collecting the largest amount for local governments from the federation account every month. With such huge sum at his disposal, he assumed larger than life image. Kwankwaso assumed the status of a tin-god and ensured that ‘Kwankwasiya’ (derived from his name) is painted on almost every government building and in the state.
Kwankwaso did not stop in Kano. At the federal level he ride rough shod over almost every other person. With the huge amount at his disposal he turned himself into a nightmare for the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Kwankwaso even went as far as harassing Jonathan over who should get federal appointments and was instrumental to the sack of Festus Odumegu as Chairman of the National Population Commission over the controversy surrounding the census figure allocated to Kano state.
The table started turning gradually for Kwankwaso few days before he left office when his Deputy, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was elected to succeed him cleverly handed a deadly weapon to his opponents with which today they are hunting Kwankwaso. Umar Ganduje had raised the alarm that Kwankwaso has not only left an empty treasury but additional liability of N379 billion.
Chairman of Ganduje’s 93-member Transition Committee, who also happens to be the then Deputy Governor-elect, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, who read the abridged copy of its final report stated that ‘’hard times await Kano and it might take patience to get along.’’
This startling revelation appeared to be the catalyst aggrieved indigenes of Kano needed to rise against the immediate past governor of the state.
Earlier on May 20, a group called the Concerned Kano State Workers and Pensioners had forwarded a five-page petition to EFCC through their solicitors, Bashir Nasir and Co. Chambers.
In a covering letter dated 20th May, 2015, from the solicitors signed by A.B. Bulama Esq., they told EFCC that, “we have the instruction of our client to forward to your good office a petition against the Governor of Kano state, Engr. Rabi Musa Kwankwaso, the Commissioner of Finance, Kano state and the Accountant General, Kano state which was personally signed by some representatives of our client.
The petition signed by Lamido M. Matawalle, Comrade Saidu Bello, Comrade Badamasi Umar and Ado Ibrahim D.Y. reads thus:” Pursuant to the provisions of Section 210 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the Kano State House of Assembly enacted the Gratuity Law No.1 of 2007. The law, provided in Section 7 that: 7(1) for every fiscal year in which an officer is employed, the employer shall contribute monthly to the scheme an amount equal to a minimum of 25 percent of the employees total emolument, in the following proportion: (a) 17 percent by the employer, and (b) 8 percent by the employee.
“Section 6 of the law provided the purpose for which the law was enacted which was to ensure that every person who worked in the Kano state public service receives his benefits as at when due. The law made an elaborate provision as to the establishment of the management, functions and independence. See section 33 to 40 of the law. Section 41 of the law underlines the importance of a proper management of the funds established under the law. The section provides in section 41 that: where any organization of the government defaults in remitting contribution due to the fund, the Trustees shall bring this to the notice of the Governor for intervention failure of which the Trustees shall have the power to proceed with legal action the defaulting organization.
“It is based on the above provisions of the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law No. 1 of 2007 that we hereby complain to your good office about the activities and inactions/omissions of the above individuals for your fair investigation. We are constrained to write this petition to you because as serving public officers of Kano state and pensioners, we have a stake in how the funds we contributed to and are now contributing for our benefit are managed. We also have to complain to you because the persons who are by the law enjoined to ensure prudent management of the funds are the person using/abusing their offices to engage in activities bordering on fraudulent activities and disregarding due process in dealing with the funds contributed by us. To further complicate issues, even though Section 42 of the law provides that there shall be at least 12 (twelve ) ordinary meetings of the Trustees in every calendar year, since the assumption of office of the
present administration of the state, no such meeting took place even once and such a meeting would have been the only avenue we could have notified those concerned with our grievances.
“Activities Of The Individuals Complained About: His Excellency, Engr. (Dr.) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso: He is the Governor of Kano state; he ordered his Honourable Commissioner of Finance to retain the contributions deducted from June, 2011 to date and had persistently refused to remit the funds deducted from workers’ salary and the contributions of the employers. The amount retained by the Commissioner of Finance and the Accountant General amounts to N10, 049, 763, 446.06. It was when the workers in the state started demanding for accountability, the Governor explained that he had built three (3) warehouses for pensioners at the Free Trade Zone in Kano. He further explained that his housing project known as Amana City has now been transferred to Pension Trust Fund, all in lieu of the retained over ten billion Naira. This explanation and decision of the Governor is both illegal, contrary to the said law and borders on fraud because: (1) The Governor is not a Trustee of the funds and thus lacks the authority to deal with the funds as he likes. Section 42 to 52 of the law made detail provisions as to how the funds contributed shall be utilized.
“(2) No accountability was employed before the above assets were transferred by the Governor to the trust fund as no valuation was done and the business viability of the assets were not ascertained. In fact the monies used in building all housing projects in the state like Kwankwasiyya village, Bandarawo and Amana city were undertaken by him with monies he caused to be withdrawn from the pension funds.
“(3) Further, His Excellency, the Governor sold a property located at No. 770 Central Business District, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja at an unknown price which was earlier bought by the trustees dissolved by him.
“(4) The Governor contrary to the provisions of section 33 to 35 dissolved the trustees and appointed unqualified persons and changed the nomenclature of the secretary of the trust fund and labelled him executive secretary without amending the law.
“The Honourable Commissioner of Finance And The Accountant General: These officers are in charge of Kano state finances. The contributions of all the workers in Kano state are remitted to them by all the three concerned organizations (the State Government, Local Governments and SUBEB) in the first instances. They hold such deducted funds in trust before remitting to the trustees. They have refused to make such remittance since the inception of the present administration in Kano state, but instead allowed the Governor to utilize it as he deems fit,
“C. KANO STATE PENSION FUND TRUSTEES: The members of the trustees who were dissolved by the Governor bought a piece of land with an area of 6.4 hecters from the Kano state Housing Corporation before they were dissolved. The land was given to an entity called Urban Shelters Limited by the improperly constituted Trustees who subdivided the piece of land into two (2) and utilized one part to build American International School and built a residence called Evergreen Residence on the other part. We believe these developments were made on the said piece of land without the consent of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA. This action may jeopardize the ownership of the plot. The agreement between the improperly constituted trustees and the said Urban Shelters Limited has been shrouded in secrecy.
“2. The pension trustees deposited the sum of N2 billion in Euro Bank PLC, Kano branch. This deposit was made at the instance of the Governor; soon after the said deposit was made, he Bank went into liquidation. The Governor refused to follow up for a claim of the said deposit in the Bank and also ensure that the money deposited is retrieved.
“3. Since the inception of this administration, the trustees never audited nor published annual audit report as stipulated by the Pension and Gratuity Law, 2007. We believe the above actions and inactions of these persons as detailed above flagrantly violate the provisions of the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law, 2007, the provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act and order relevant laws. It is in view of the foregoing that we write to your good office to demand you to launch a thorough investigation into the issues we have raised in this letter and take necessary action(s). Find attached herewith some relevant documents and correspondence for your perusal and necessary action, please,” the petition concluded.
Immediately Kwankwaso left the EFCC swung into action and invited him but he urged them to invite the Accountant General with the argument that he alone could provide the explanation they needed on the matter. They Accountant General was invited, detained and was taken on bail by a prominent traditional ruler in the state. When attempts were made to arrest Kwankwaso, he ran to a Kano High Court asking the Court to stop the anti-graft commission from arresting and harassing him.
While the case is being argued in court Kwankwaso lost his swagger and hid himself in his private house to evade arrest by EFCC operatives. The hunted former hunter totally disappeared from public radar, including meetings of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that had been battling to find solutions to the crisis that is tearing it apart.
The ruling of the court did little to give respite to Kwankwaso as Justice Mohammed Yahaya described Kwankwaso’s claim that the EFCC was after him as baseless and a mere speculation and declined to grant the request for an order of the court restraining EFCC from arresting him. The court further ordered for a hearing notice to be served on EFCC through courier service.
Kwankwaso’s resumption of his legislative duties in the Senate will largely depend on what happens on the adjourned date of July 15 when the case will be determined.

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