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Alleged N1bn fraud: Gov Sule’s integrity test and political options

By Francis Nansak

Since the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Education unearthed the alleged N1 billion misappropriated schools project fund in the State, the government of Engr. Abdullahi Sule has been weighing options on how to ingeniously manage the issue and recover the money.

The House Committee on Education, chaired by Daniel Ogah Ogazi, the arrowhead in the investigation, had summoned the then Education Commissioner, who now is the Secretary to the Nasarawa state Government, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani, the current Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati Sabo Jimeta and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, to make some explanation on how the project was executed.

The SSG had admitted that he would take responsibility should the House Committee find him guilty of misappropriating the said amount.

He had equally insisted that it was the money equitably shared among the contractors for the schools renovation projects, and described them as political facilitators.

The House thereafter set up an Ad-hoc committee, that investigated the matter, after which it presented their findings to the House.

While submitting the findings to House, the Ad-hoc committee revealed that out of the N1 billion meant for the renovation of the schools in the State, the then commissioner, now SSG could not account for over N248 million .

After receiving the committee report, the House recommended that the SSG be relieved of his position haven been found guilty of financial mismanagement.

It further noted that the SSG was unfit to continue in government in that capacity and that he needed to be sacked so as to give the government the chance of forging ahead with good governance.

The Speaker, however, directed the Clerk of the House to communicate the resolution directing the governor to sack his SSG with immediate effect.

Governor Sule had often sworn that he would not tolerate any financial recklessness, but what would he do now considering that the State Assembly has pronounced his appointee guilty of financial mismanagement?

How will it be interpreted by residents of the state if the Governor in his character of voiding any thing that could set in acrimony and capable of diverting his attention from the course of dispensing good governance decide to look the other way and leave the SSG to continue in office?.

Can the Governor muscle the will to remove the SSG not minding the political consequence, especially seeing that his integrity is at stake?

Or will he bow to political pressure by ignoring the lawmakers’ directives, which could also be a dent on his government?

While these options are before the governor, the residents of the state are keenly watching and waiting with mixed expectations on how best to finally score the governor after the saga.

Meanwhile, a reliable source has it that the embattled SSG has filed a suit against the House of Assembly and copied same to the Governor, in a move to ensure fair hearing over the allegations leveled against his person.

The source said, part of the suit filed by the SSG was to enable him name the political facilitators as earlier claimed by him before the State Assembly in order for the public to know that he was not the only one involved in the financial mess for which he was being investigated.

Written by ExpressDay

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