11 May 2017

Nigeria: Kano Assembly Constitutes Committee to Probe Sanusi

Photo: Premium Times
Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Kano — The Kano State House of Assembly has set up an eight-man committee to investigate the allegations levelled against the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, bordering on his purported misconduct and alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to the Kano Emirate Council.

The Speaker of the state assembly, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, who presided over plenary on Wednesday, constituted the panel following a point of order raised by the member representing Nasarawa constituency, Ibrahim Ahmad Gama.

The lawmaker alleged that Sanusi had spread false information on the trip of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to China recently to hold discussions on a light rail project in the state.

Gama also insisted that the statement attributed to the emir was capable of tarnishing the governor's image, the state government and that of the assembly.

"The emir during his speech in Kaduna, alleged that the Kano State governor and his entourage, including me as the Chairman of the House Committee on Works, wasted one month in China seeking for a loan to construct the light rail project.

"The emir's statement was not true, we spent only four days in China, and our visit was to find out the capacity of the company to handle the rail project.

"His allegation has brought a lot of insults to my person, the state government and the House of Assembly by the general public in and outside the state," he said.

He also took a swipe at the Emir of Kano for sending his daughter to represent him at a function organised by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group in Abuja, describing it as inimical to the tradition of the Emirate Council.

"There are many responsible Emirate Council members who could have represented him at the programme. This is the first time we are seeing such in the history of the traditional home," he added.

According to Gama, the mode of dressing by the Emir's daughter during the programme also caused embarrassment to the Emirate Council and the tradition of Kano people, because she failed to wear the "full traditional regalia".

He also accused Sanusi of introducing religious views that are contrary to the teachings of Islam, saying such things were capable of undermining the religion.

Gama further accused Emir Sanusi of getting involved in political issues, the misappropriation of the Emirate Council's funds and making statements against President Muhammadu Buhari.

After making his case, the Kano Assembly set up a committee to investigate the allegations. The committee was given two weeks to report back to the assembly.

The eight-member committee will be headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Alhaji Labaran Abdul.

Outspoken Sanusi has come under fire in recent weeks for criticising northern leaders and the establishment in the region for holding on to conservative Islamic values, which he said has stunted development in the region.

He has also advocated against child marriage and counselled against Muslim men marrying more than a wife when their finances cannot support a polygamous set up.

He was also critical of the Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari after the governor had said God was punishing people in his state for their sins through the meningitis outbreak. Of the six northern states that recorded meningitis cases, Zamfara was the worst hit.

Even though Yari fired back at the emir, the Kano Emirate Council, which Sanusi chairs by virtue of his position, has come under the search light of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.

When word got out that the council was being investigated, it issued a statement clarifying that contrary to the allegation that it had misappropriated N6 billion, it had spent N4.3 billion since the enthronement of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

It said when Sanusi ascended the throne in 2014, it had the sum of N1 billion in its coffers.

Sanusi, who was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has also defended his lifestyle, which has been criticised for being ostentatious and flamboyant.

He said the two Rolls Royce he uses were given to him as gifts, while his friends in the banking sector provided the private jets he uses for his trips.

In another development, the police on Wednesday arraigned a renowned cleric, Sheik Nasiru Bazallah, before a senior Kano Magistrate's Court for allegedly insulting the Emir of Kano with the intent of breaching the peace in the state.

The prosecution alleged that the cleric tried to incite disturbances and defamed the traditional ruler, alleging that the cleric acted contrary to Section 114, 392 and 399 of the Penal Code.

The charges against the cleric stated that on May 8, 2017, Emir Sanusi lodged a direct complaint to the Kano State Commissioner of Police alleging that the accused on March 20, 2017, acted in a manner that defamed his character.

He further alleged that the Islamic scholar criminally gathered his followers at Goron Dutse quarters, where he made statements to incite disturbances, defamed the character of the emir and impugned his integrity.

When he was read the charges, the accused pleaded not guilty and applied to the court to grant him bail.

The prosecution, which was represented by Police Inspector Haziel Ledapwa informed the court that police investigation was still in progress.

The presiding magistrate, Hassan Ahmed Fagge, in his ruling admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N1 million, with two sureties.

The sureties must be directors of a ministry.

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