The Kano State Civil Society Situation Room, KASCISSIR, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over the alleged withdrawal of N235,500,000, by the Kano State Government, under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, for the purpose of buying votes, ahead of the March 23, rerun Governorship election in the State.
A copy of the petition, dated 14th March, 2019, alleged that the sum of N235.5 million, was withdrawn from the Kano State Government Treasury, through the Ministry for Local Government, and allocated to different Local Governments, where INEC is scheduled to hold supplementary elections, on March 23.
“This information is contained in a leaked document, dated 12th March, 2019, that is now available in public domain. Furthermore, on the 13th March, arrest of some votes buying Agents have been made in some communities, where the Gubernatorial rerun election will take place, and some of those Agents confirmed that they were working for the ruling APC in the State, as one of them confirmed on freedom radio programme, (In da ranka), on Wednesday, 13th March, 2019.
“We hope that EFCC will investigate this matter, while also putting some measures in those communities, to ensure that votes buying, before and during election, does not influence the rerun election in the State”, the petition indicated.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Local Government, Murtala Sule Garo, dispelled the claims, saying that, it was a mere allegation, aimed at tarnishing the image of the Kano State Government.
Garo said that the withdrawal in question, was meant for the execution of some projects in 13 Local Government Areas of the State, and that some of the benefiting Local Governments were not among the affected areas, by the March 23, rerun election.
He said: “Off course, some money was allocated to 13 Local Government Areas, for execution of various projects, but that does not mean the money was meant for vote buying. Take for instance Kumbotso, Kabo, Dawakin Tofa, and Tsanyawa Local Governments, they were allocated with N12 million, N24 million, N22 million, and N17.5 million, but no rerun election will take place there. So, it was not true that the money was allocated for votes buying.
“If it is true that the money was meant for votes buying as claimed by the civil society, then we should have shared the money among the 30 Local Government Areas, where the rerun will take place”, he said.