19th July, 2020.
The People’s Voice Advocacy Network, a civil society organisation established to promote good governance and social justice wishes to express her dissatisfaction in the manner at which the Kwara State Governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is handling the case of alleged misappropriation of local council funds with gloove hands.
We read about the plan of the Kwara State Government to investigate and probe the alleged financial misappropriation emanated from the office of the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mrs Aisha Ahman Pategi, the earst while commissioner for local government, chieftancy affairs and community development and the claim of EFCC invitation to that effect.
We believe that the approach of the State Governor to this unfortunate development has evidently shown that His Excellency was wrongly advised especially when there is simple administrative way to arrest the situation. That, He claimed to have invited EFCC on the allegation which a simple administrative approach by Constituting an internal panel probe from his Cabinet with inclusion of State Auditor General and Accountant General would have addressed but if the Governor seems not satisfied of the internal panel result, he can then proceed on another swift option to recover our looted fund. The group again linked the approach of the Governor on the allegation as an attempt to kill an ant with a sledge hammer.
In respect to the above reservations, the group hereby wishes to make the following submissions:
- That, the Executive Governor should, as a matter of urgency, publicize the name of all members of the panel of inquiry and comprehensively spell out the terms of their engagement in a notable national dailies and reputable online medium. The recent developments revolving around the government officials at the center in the area of anti graft war has spelt measures for other stakeholders to follow. A presidential panel Probe was set up, headed by justice Ayo salami Rtrd with other six members with their information well detailed on various national dailies and media platforms for all Nigerians to see, which has really strengthened our faith in any justice emanated from the panel. Therefore, we urge His Excellency to honourably follow suit.
- That, the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Florence Oyeyemi and her counterpart Mrs. Aisha Ahman pateji, handling the ministry of local government, chieftaincy affairs and community development at the time of this alleged financial misappropriation should be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of the panel, EFCC and House of assembly findings. The story that led to the suspension of the 16 local government council chairmen still fresh in our memory. until now, no substantial information has been relayed to the public on the State of the allegations by the State House of Assembly and yet they were sent out of office by the Governor despite these people enjoyed the benefit of being the legitimate officers of their respective jurisdictions. Moreover, Like in the case of allegations especially, corruption allegations which has been the common enemy to our socioeconomic development as a Nation. Since the Governor is ready to hit the nail through the head by displaying his office readiness to probe the financial infractions in our local government Treasury. Therefore, such affected holders of office at the time of this unfortunate happening is expected to step aside until all investigating panels cleared them of such. We urge Mr. Governor to display a high level of patriotism in his anti graft war like that of president Muhammadu Buhari in the case of the earst while EFCC boss, Mr. Ibrahim Magu who was suspended alongside with others who may have any oil hands in the probe in order to give clear room for proper investigation and if at the end, He and any of his boys eventually found not wanting, they may resume to continue their national assignment if same still the choices by the president.
- That, the Governor should produce and publish a copy of the acclaimed invitation letter he sent to the office of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in respect of the financial misappropriation allegation. The group shall look forward to hearing from the appropriate Authority as soon as possible.
Comrade Olaitan Abdulraheem,
The Assistant Publicity Secretary,
The People’s Voice Advocacy Network