Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission said it has recovered N270,000 allegedly siphoned by the special adviser to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on religious affairs, Ali Baba, and his son, Huzaifa Ali Baba.
Chairman of the commission, Barrister Muhuyi Magagi Rimi-Gado, who made the disclosure while briefing journalists, confirmed that the suspects had confessed to the commission that the monies meant to settle some Qur’anic reciters were deliberately deducted to take care of other invited persons who could not make a prayer session.
Rimi-Gado said that the commission had invited Ganduje’s special adviser and his son for interrogation after receiving a petition from six Islamic scholars who accused the suspects of siphoning their stipends after duly participated in the special prayers held at the behest of the government.
Although the anti-graft boss declared that the recovered fund would duly be returned to the six petitioners, he disclosed that Baba and his son will not be prosecuted since the petitioners are not willing to seek litigation.
The Guardian learnt the state government had released undisclosed amount through the office of the governor’s special adviser on religious affairs. The fund was meant for the remuneration of selected Islamic scholars who took part in the special Quranic session on the day of Arafat to seek God’s intervention on the security situation in the country.
“It could be recalled that Ali Baba and his son were invited few days ago over the allegation of diversion of some fund,” Rimi-Gado said.
“The commission received petition from seven persons claiming to have been cheated by the special adviser to the Governor. And because the commission is not bias, the suspects were invited for interrogation.
“After our investigation, the prime suspect confessed to have directed his son Huzaifa, the other suspect to seize the money meant for some Qur’anic reciters who conducted special prayers on Arafat Day at Kano Government House. But according to him, the deducted money was deliberately collected to settle others who were invited but could not make the event. The petitioners are Malam Audu, Malam Muhammad, Malam Ibrahim, Malam Abdulrahman, Malam Nazifi, Malam Usama and Malam Halilu.”
He said, although the commission was empowered under sections 22, 23 and 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Laws, to investigate the petition and prosecute suspects, he insisted embarking on prosecution may not be necessary since the alleged siphoned fund was recovered.
“Based on Sections 22, 23 and 26 of Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption law which said whoever is found guilty of such offence should be prosecuted to face the wrath of the law. But the commission will not prosecute the accused persons as its main concern is recovering the money and returning to the rightful owners.”
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