Kano Civil Society Situation Room on Thursday accused the state government of releasing N223,500,000 to members of All Progressives Congress (APC) to buy votes during the rescheduled gubernatorial rerun election in the state.
The coalition of CSO had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Kano zonal office, to investigate what they considered as organised crime to compromised the will of the people.
Addressing journalists shortly after submitting the petition at EFCC office, Co-Coordinator of the group, Comrade Abdulrazaq Alkai, said a document official signed by the permanent secretary Ministry of local government clearly indicated N223,500,000 to be shared to 13 local government councils.
Although, Abdulrazaq did not confirmed whether or not, the document as contained indicated the money was meant to buy votes, he insisted that money was allegedly released to local government areas where rerun election will be conducted. Hence they urged EFCC to investigate the allegation
He said , ” we wish to draw the attention of EFCC to a suspicious withdrawal of N223,500,000 from Kano state government treasury, through the ministry of local governments. The said amount has been allocated to different local governments where INEC scheduled to hold rerun election in Kano.
” We hope that EFCC will investigate the matter while also putting some measures in those communities to ensure that votes buying does not influence the outcome of the gubernatorial rerun poll”.
In a swift reaction, Kano state Commissioner for local government , Murtala Sule Garo, denied the claim insisting the group are politically motivated to dent government image.
Murtala Garo explained that no money was allocated to compromise election, explaining that the money released was part of budgetary allocation to fund capital projects.
Dismissing claim that the funds was released specifically to local government councils where rerun will hold, the Commissioner explained that only eight local councils benefited out of the 30 areas where rerun will hold.
“It is not true and it gross misinformation. The money released is part of normal allocation from government treasury since both state government and local councils operate joint account.
” We need not to buy votes because the people are already with the state government. And if they say we released money to compromise election, the allocation was meant for 13 LGAs and out of these council, rerun will hold only in 8. Kabo, Tsanyawa, Dawakin-Tofa and Kumbotso local government areas will all benefited from the monies but rerun will not take place in these place. How can we book money to out of 30, if at all their claims is anything to go by”
He noted that the allegation were not new as the former governor of Kano state Rabiu Kwankwaso was accused of collecting N70M from each of the 44 local government council to campaign for his presidential election in 2015.