Kwara panel wants ex-govs Saraki, Ahmed tried, jailed for economic sabotage

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A Government White Paper on Thursday indicted former Senate president Bukola Saraki, former governor Abdulfattah Ahmed and others for illegally selling Kwara State properties.

The panel also recommended that the former governors among others should be prosecuted and jailed if found guilty.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had set up the committee to investigate unlawful sales of the state government properties from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2019.

The statement quoted the Chairman of the panel of inquiry, Mr Hussein Buhari, as saying this while submitting the White Paper to the governor at the Government House in Ilorin.

The panel set up by AbdulRazaq on the unlawful sales of government properties also recommended that Bukola Saraki, Ahmed and others should be tried for alleged economic sabotage.

“Findings in the report were mind boggling and said nothing short of diligent prosecution, possible jail terms and recovery of many of the properties can avenge the official connivances that led to the pilferage of the assets,” Buhari noted.

He also said the former governors and many of their aides have questions to answer on how public properties and shares were sold under questionable circumstances, including on the eve of their departures from public offices.

He said none of these officials honoured the invitations for them to clear the air on the deals, advising the administration to prosecute them as a matter of justice.

“The committee swung into action immediately it was inaugurated and went through the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the sales of Kwara State Government Assets between May 1999 and May 2019.

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“There are so many rots perpetrated by the past governments especially in the 16 years before 2019.

“For instance, the rots on Shonga Farms, Satellite Motel, and our properties in Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos were simply inconceivable.

“They were all sold to themselves at giveaway prices. We saw criminal conspiracies.

“In fact, Kwara State is now heavily indebted to some people because the past governments mismanaged our properties.

“I just wish Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will have the courage and political will to implement the report so that everybody found wanting will be brought to book.

“The Electoral Act is very clear that anybody who is found guilty of mismanagement of resources be banned for 10 years from holding political office.

“We wish the government will accept our recommendations and set up an implementation committee.”

Receiving the report, Governor AbdulRazaq said he had noted the recommendations to prosecute all those indicted in the white paper and promised to act on them.

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