EFCC questions ex-governor Rabiu Kwankwaso over alleged fraud

A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, surrendered on Saturday for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), PREMIUM TIMES learned.

It happened weeks after this diary reported how the main member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) avoided previous invitations from the anti-corruption agency.

His decision to surrender could have been taken to avoid a possible arrest which our journalist learned was planned by the commission.

Senior EFCC officials, who asked not to be named because they did not have permission to speak on the issue, told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Kwankwaso had arrived at the commission headquarters in Abuja Saturday before noon.

“It was after repeated invitations not honored by him,” said one of the sources.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson for the EFCC, could not immediately be reached for comment.

A close associate, who sometimes speaks on behalf of Mr. Kwankwaso, said he would get back to our reporter, but had not yet done so when this report was tabled.

Petition

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the former governor was under investigation in a 2015 petition by affected Kano State workers and retirees, who alleged he had violated the Pensions and Perks Act of Kano State in 2007 in the management of pension payments amounting to approximately N10 billion contributed between 2011 and 2015.

Mr. Kwankwaso previously ruled Kano State between 1999 and 2003, before returning for his second term from 2011 to 2015.

The 64-year-old was also a senator representing Kano Central between 2015 and 2019.

According to the petitioners, Mr. Kwankwaso had ordered that pension remittances be used for housing construction, largely to benefit retirees.

A tripartite agreement was then made between Kano State Pension Trust Funds as investors and Kano State Investment and Property Limited and Kano State Housing Corporation Limited as developers on a share ratio of 60:40.

However, after the award of contracts for the construction of 1,579 houses for the development of “the towns of Kwankwasiya, Amana and Bandarawa”, claimed the petitioners, Mr. of his aide and his acolytes.

The alleged manipulation occurred in May 2015, the month Mr. Kwankwaso stepped down as governor of Kano.

Mr Kwankwaso is not the only politically exposed person to have avoided an invitation from the EFCC last week, the newspaper found.

At the time of filing this report, Mr. Kwankwaso had been toasted for hours by EFCC officers.

It is not yet known whether he will be released on bail or if he will spend the night in police custody.

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