Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has inaugurated a commission of inquiry to investigate the legality and fairness of the sale of Kwara assets during the administration of former governors Muhammed Lawal, Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah Ahmed.
NEWS FLAKES NG reports that the governor also inaugurated another panel of inquiry to investigate alleged diversion of N300m local government funds by his administration.
While the commission of inquiry on the public assets has two months to submit its report, the panel on local government funds was given two weeks to submit its findings.
While inaugurating the panels, the governor said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had since begun their probe into the local governments’ allocation and disbursements based on his official invitation of the anti-graft body to look into the matter.
A statement by the governor’s chief press secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the governor had on July 14th 2020 written to the EFCC to look into the allocations to all the 16 local government areas from the Federal Government, their shares of the internally generated revenue, and the disbursements of same to ascertain whether any money was being diverted as alleged.
It said the inquiry into the sale of assets fits into the governor’s pledge in his inaugural address to look into the past only to the extent that such would benefit the public and ensure that the mistakes of the past were not repeated by present occupiers of public office.
“The setting up of this commission of inquiry serves to establish the fairness and legality of how property acquired with public funds were sold or acquired by private concerns.
“This is to be done with full considerations for the rights of all parties to fair hearing.
“Where any of these public assets are found to have been unlawfully acquired or sold, the government will take all necessary steps to retrieve such along with other measures the commission may recommend to avert such in the future.
In doing this, we recognise that we are setting a standard with which we may also be held to account after leaving office.
“This is why I urge every serving public official to remember this day and act accordingly,” the governor said.
In his remarks, retired Justice Mathew Adewara, chairman of the panel on local government funds, said the action of the Governor is akin to inviting outsiders to probe his own administration, especially that the probe is restricted to his own tenure.
“We appreciate your boldness and courage in setting up the panel.
“It is a commendable step because it is like calling on somebody else to come and enquire into your own stewardship.
“We assure you that we will do our best as contained in the terms of reference,” he said.
Also, retired Justice Olabanji Orilonishe, chairman of the commission of inquiry on assets, said they would work as a team to deliver on the mandate as spelt out in their terms of reference.
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