If the fight against corruption is to be meaningfully fought and won, then it should not defer to status or sentiment. Recently two cases of alleged corruption that came to the public stage are those of the Emir of Kano, HRH Mohammadu Sanusi II, and that of Alhaji Danjuma Goje.
While the one was accused of fraudulently spending the sum of N3.4 Billion belonging to the Kano Emirate Council, the other is accused of misappropriating the sum of N5 billion while he was governor of Gombe State between 2003 and 2011.
But surprisingly, those two cases may have been trashed.
In the case of the Emir of Kano, he seems to have been let off the noose by the intervention of the duo of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Gov Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
The Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-corruption Council had investigated allegations of fraud made against the Emir and his emirate, prompting an investigation into his transactions. The findings have revealed troubling recklessness on the part of the Emir. It would be the second time he would be indicted since he mounted the throne. But it keeps being swept under the carpet.
It is not certain whether it is all politics.
But the point must be made that those who live in glass houses should avoid throwing stones. Sanusi lives in glass houses , but loves to haul stones at people. He, it was that alleged that about $21 billion realised from crude oil sales were not in the Central Bank account of the Federal Government. That and many his many other acts led to his suspension as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by the then President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The Emir had seemingly worked against the re-election of Governor Ganduje during the last election. As a repercussion for that disloyalty, the governor balkanized the Kano Emirate by creating four other emirates. This was meant to whittle down the effect of Emir Sanusi.
When the courts halted the act, then an old 19-page report on Emir Sanusi’s financial malfeasance was released. That is the report that says the anti-Corruption council found him guilty of misappropriating the sum of N3.4 billion for which the commission recommended suspension from office pending the determination of the full and final investigation.
It is interesting to note that the complaint against Sanusi by a faceless
“Concern(sic) Friends of the Emirate” is dated March 28, 2017. Question is: why did the Kano State government file away the findings and recommendations of the anti-corruption commission all the while, and remembering to root it out only when the courts disallowed the splitting of the Emirate into bits and pieces? Is it true that Ganduje is merely playing politics?
Is it true that the Emir misappropriated N3.4billion belonging to the Kano emirate? If no, then why the “persecution”?
But if yes, so what happens to the money? Does the intervention of Dangote and Fayemi wipe off the crime of misappropriation of public funds? So who returns the money to the coffers of the Emirate and what will be the punishment?
If it was an “ordinary person” that misappropriated (semantics for stealing) people’s funds to the tune of N3.4 billion, would he not have long ended in the back end of Gashua prisons? If it was an ordinary person, would Dangote and Co intervene to save him from going to jail? Why is the Emir now being shielded from the effect of the fire he lit? Do we have two sets of laws and two sets of morality?
It is ironic that in a domain defined by poverty, squalor and lack, its ethno-religious leader can be associated with a financial binge that bothers on recklessness.
How can it be explained , for instance, that while the Emir is expending the sum of N360 million in installing CCTVs in the palace, many of his folksmen are on the street begging even for food?
Many of the transactions of the Emir have accumulated from chartering private jets, hotel accommodation and generally engaging in opulent life style ( like riding in exquisite limousine cars) which contrasts sharply with the status and (mis)fortune of his subjects.
Some truce has been achieved between the Kano Government House and the Kano Emirate now. Is that the end of the investigation? Will the file be dusted again whenever the Emir steps out of political order? What a country!
The other case is that of Danjuma Goje. This was a man the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused of laundering the sum of N5billion while as a governor. He was taken to court and slammed a 21-count charge of laundering the said sum.
Yes, sometime ago, a Federal High court in Jos struck out 19 out of the 21counts. That means 2 more counts were yet pending. What has happened to the remaining counts?
But few days to the National Assembly Election, it was reported that part of the deal that made Goje to step down for Lawan was he (Goje) requesting that the EFCC drops the case against him. The President allegedly obliged him and ordered the EFCC to drop the case, or officially put: transfer the case to the Ministry of Justice . Pronto, Goje announced his stepping down for Mohammed Lawan.
So is it that the stepping down for Lawan has deleted the crime of Goje? Were the allegations against him frivolous? If they were not, why would his stepping down from contesting, step down his alleged crime too?
Indeed, the fact that such a heavy case of corruption was hanging on his head, should, in the first place, disqualify him from seeking such a prized office in the land.
To further compensate him by dropping the case against him is to indulge and inadvertently promote fraud and corruption in our public governance system. It puts a big question mark on the sincerity of the president’s avowed fight against corruption.
It is bad enough that there are so many people with corruption baggage in the National Assembly, but it is doubly worse that the same government that has drawn the sword against corruption will be shielding and even projecting those whose records are not clean.