A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, failed to report to the EFCC last week following an invitation by the anti-graft agency, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt. The politician was invited to answer questions from investigators working on allegations that he abused public office, diverted public funds, and unjustly allocated public houses to his cronies.
Mr Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the main opposition party, PDP, was asked to appear at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja last Thursday, sources said. But he shunned the invitation.
Mr Kwankwaso did not respond to a text message seeking his comment on this report on Monday. He also did not answer calls. Sources within the EFCC said the politician could be arrested if continues to shun the request that he appear for questioning.
The provenance of the investigation was a 2015 petition by Concerned Kano State Workers and Pensioners, who alleged that Mr Kwankwaso violated the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law of 2007 in the management of pension remittances amounting to about N10 billion contributed between 2011 and 2015.
Mr Kwankwaso was Kano governor from 2011 to 2015. Previously, he held the position between 1999 and 2003.
According to the petitioners, Mr Kwankwaso had directed that pension remittances be used for housing development, largely to favour the pensioners. Then, a tripartite deal was reached between Kano State Pension Trust Funds as the investors and Kano State Investment and Property Limited and Kano State Housing Corporation Limited as developers on a 60:40 sharing ratio.
However, after contracts for the construction of 1,579 houses were awarded for the development of ” Kwankwasiya, Amana, and Bandarawa Cities”, the petitioners alleged, Mr Kwankwaso “manipulated” the process to terminate the term of the agreement and made outright allocations in favour of his aide and cronies.
The alleged manipulation happened in May 2015, the month Mr Kwankwaso left office as Kano’s governor.
Mr Kwankwaso is not the only politically exposed person who shunned an invitation by the EFCC last week, findings by this newspaper show.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Hafsat Ganduje, the wife of Mr Kwanwanso’s successor in Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje, also shunned EFCC’s invitation last week. Mrs Ganduje is wanted over a case of alleged bribery and land fraud reported by her son, Abdulazeez Ganduje.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwajuren, did not comment on both cases when contacted on Monday.
However, in separate interviews, sources familiar with the two cases said Mr Kwankwaso and Mrs Ganduje could be arrested should they continue to shun the invitations extended to them.
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