By Ismail Auwal
Kano State House of Assembly’s suspension of the Executive Chairman of the Kano State Public Complain and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji, for one month on Monday did not come to many as a surprise.
As a matter of fact, the twist was foretold. Embattled Magaji has been riding on a tiger for so long.
On Monday the State House of Assembly based on a petition received from the Office of the Accountant-General of the State in the Ministry of Finance for alleged refusal of the PCACC to accept a Chief Accountant posted to the Commission by the Office of the Accountant-General in a recent staff posting exercise, suspended the anti-corruption boss.
The newly deployed chief accountant was reportedly rejected and even served with a rejection letter in that respect.
This necessitated the decision by the office of the Accountant-General to send a petition to the State House of Assembly for its intervention on the matter.
After series of deliberation on the floor of the House, the lawmakers “agreed to suspend the Chairman of the Public Complain and Anti-Corruption Commission for one month to give way for the investigation on the subject matter.”
“The House subsequently appointed the House Committee Chairman on Public Complain”, Hon Umar Musa Gama, to head the investigation Committee.
The members of the Committee comprise Hon Lawan Shehu, Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Chairman House Committee on Public Account, Hon Salisu Ibrahim Doguwa, House Committee Chairman on Finance, Hon Magaji Dahiru Zarewa and Hon Sale Ahmad Marke, Chairman House Committee’s on Hajj, while the Committee has the Deputy Director (Legal) as Secretary and Secretary Public Account Committee as Co-secretary.
The Committee was given two weeks within which to present its report on the finding to the Honourable House, a media statement by Uba Abdullahi, Chief Press Secretary Kano State House of Assembly, said.
The turnaround embodied that Magaji who has been celebrated as a hero by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has turned to a villain in what signifies the end of the twisted game, between him and the first lady.
SAHELIAN TIMES has reported how the Magaji landed himself in trouble for allegedly exposing skeletons of financial misdeeds with accusing fingers pointed in the direction of the first lady’s closet.
The paper also reported how the ordeal of the PCACC chairman was said to have begun after Magaji led a delegation of the state government in the disbursement of funds to foreign scholarship students, an arrangement that allegations against the wish of the Kano State First Lady.
According to the source, Prof Hafsa Ganduje, who allegedly exerted a lot of influence around the State Treasury, has since allegedly made things difficult for the state anti-corruption commission.
SAHELIAN TIMES gathered that, the commission has been witnessing months of salary delay while its overhead budget had been suspended.
An insider information source in the office of the Auditor-General said that the accountant at the PCACC had been replaced in line with opening up of full investigation into the agency’s financial transactions, with questions raised about the qualifications of the former accountant.
Nonetheless, the PCACC had, in a press release on 4th May, announced that it would no longer entertain any matter relating to the payment of students on both domestic and foreign scholarships.
A source noted that the announcement was yet another move by the Commission management to avoid any clash with the powerful first lady.
In a recent report, this paper also noted, “The last may not have been heard about the travails of the Executive Chairman of Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji, on whose Commission the investigation searchlight is currently beamed following allegations of huge financial fraud in its operations.
“There are indications that the embattled chairman had earlier planned an elaborate survival strategy in anticipation of a plot for his removal allegedly masterminded by the Kano State First Lady, Professor Hafsa Umar Ganduje.
“The PCACC boss was said to have stepped on the first lady’s toes allegedly in connection with certain activities of the Commission, where the governor’s wife is believed to wield a lot of influence controlling some vital supplies to the agency.”
According to the story, the whole trouble with the Kano State government began when an alleged plan by Magaji to secure a job at the federal level as the Chief Commissioner of the Federal Public Complaints Commission reportedly fell through.
The attempt to secure a federal appointment was said to have be predicated on certain signals of impending problems at the state commission due to the alleged friction the state first lady, from which the man had sought an early escape.
He had then hired an apartment in Abuja, the nation’s capital, in anticipation of the said federal appointment, but which did not materialize.
A source close to the Commission, Magaji had also tidied up documents in his office in readiness for a hand-over upon the expected Senate confirmation of the federal job.
“However, by a dramatic twist of fate, Mogaji’s dream job was not to be as Mr Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf from Lagos State was, in May 2021, announced as the new Chief Commissioner for the Public Complaint Commission”, Sahelian Times reported.
In a letter dated June 10, 2021, with reference number PCACC/CM/OFF/VOL.1/071, the chairman requested the State Commissioner for Works to provide information relating to the construction of Cancer Centre as well as the supply of diesel by the state government.
Dust was also raised in respect of the supply of diesel to the Cancer Centre project in the state.
The said letter hintibg at a full-scale investigation said in part, “In the exercise of its powers under Section 9 and Section 15 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended), the Commission is currently conducting an investigation, which requires you to provide the following details:-
(a) All documents relating to Cancer Centre
(b) All documents pertaining to procurement of Diesel.
(c) Any other information that will aid the Commission’s investigation.”