Author Topic: Drain the swamp: Gov. Tambuwal pardoned 5 men accused of N15bn fraud and gave them appointments  (Read 104 times)

Id Rock

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The governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, pardoned five men being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N15 billion fraud perpetrated when the same men served under the administration of former governor Attahiru Bafarawa between 2002 and 2007.

“Curiouser and Curiouser”: At a time when all the rage in this administration is the war on corruption, it is striking that a leading All Progressives Congress (APC) governor decided to pardon men accused of defrauding his state. But even stranger is the following:

The five men were not just pardoned – they were given appointments in the Sokoto government. Tukur Alkali is the Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development; Isa Achida is the Commissioner for Home Affairs; Maigari Dingyadi is the Chairman, Governing Board, National Commission for Colleges of Education; Isah Bello is a Permanent Secretary; and Habibu Modachi is the member representing Isa constituency at the House of Assembly. (Modachi was elected by his constituency and not appointed like the others).How about the others? The five men pardoned by Tambuwal were not the only ones being prosecuted by the EFCC. In all, 15 persons, including ex-Gov. Bafarawa were charged by the commission on a 47-count charge. The men had tried to have the charges quashed by both the High Court and Appeal Court – but they failed. Now, Tambuwal suddenly pardoned five out of the 15. What criteria did he use in selecting who received his pardon? How come the other 10 are still being made to face charges for which 15 were charged?Does Tambuwal have the power? A governor has the right to pardon who he deems fit to pardon. However, does the governor of a state have the power to pardon officials being charged by the federal government? The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), does not think so. He said, “It is only the Attorney General of the Federation that can ask for a case that is being prosecuted by the Federal Government to be withdrawn. So, what Tambuwal did by pardoning is illegal.” However, a Sokoto High Court has ruled that the governor has a right to do so. That judgement is being appealed by the EFCC.But even if Tambuwal has the constitutional powers, it ought to be exercised with utmost reponsibility and probity. Unfortunately it appears that the Sokoto governor has used his powers as an instrument for political patronage.No matter his reasons, the pardons and the subsequent appointments look bad on Gov. Tambuwal who has ambitions to someday run for president. And it says a lot about his commitment (or lack thereof) to the anti-corruption fight.


- The Scoop NG

 

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