Emir Muhammadu Sanusi’s wife was ‘unintentionally’ invited for questioning in relation to a fraud probe, an official said on Thursday.
The Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, Muhuyi Magaji, told the News Agency of Nigeria that when the commission realised it invited Mrs Sanusi, it withdrew the invitation and that of 29 others.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how an initial report by the commission indicted Mr Sanusi and the Kano Emirate Council of misappropriating N3.4 billion.
The emirate has denied any wrongdoing by Mr Sanusi and other indicted persons and has secured a court injunction to stall the investigation.
Many Nigerians believe Mr Sanusi is being victimised by the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, for allegedly opposing the governor’s re-election bid.
Mr Ganduje controversially won re-election in March although the result is being challenged by the main opposition party, PDP.
Speaking to NAN on the probe of the emirate council, Mr Magaji said the commission has withdrawn the letters of invitation issued to about 30 people.
He explained that the commission found it necessary to withdraw the invitation following the discovery of the name of the wife of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, on the list of those invited for investigation.
The name of the particular wife of the emir, who has more than one wife, was not included in the interview.
According to Mr Magaji, the commission will now request for the documents and limit itself to the expenditures that the agency is probing.
“More than 30 people have been pencilled down for invitation because we have information that whenever we requested for information or document they used to deny us and they engage in producing same apparently in anticipation of a court case.
“Therefore, we decided to invite those necessary based on the available facts at hand.
“The recent issue is for medical trip overseas and we decided to invite the beneficiaries because even the accountant was not allowed to come to us. So we don’t have anybody to ask.”
Inviting The Emir’s Wife
Mr Magaji said the commission recently invited more than 30 people to appear before it but one of the wives of the emir was found to be a beneficiary of medical assistance, which was one of the expenditures the commission was investigating.
“The issue of the emir’s wife and any other person, apart from the District Heads, we don’t know them.
“It didn’t even come over any one of us that the emir’s wife will be among those to benefit from medical assistance,” the official said.
“Nobody expected the wife of the emir to be among the beneficiaries of the medical assistance. I want to state that we don’t know that the wife of the emir was among those invited.
“It did not occur to us that an emir’s wife will be part of people who benefitted from the assistance.”
The official suggested that there was corruption involved in the various medical trips abroad.
“The most disturbing thing is that there was no referral letter or name of the country where the hospital is located was mentioned in the papers or document we have,” he said.
Why We Invited Individuals
The chairman, who expressed concern over the obstruction of the investigation, however, questioned why the emirate council would continue to release some information to the social media regarding the ongoing probe.
He stressed that the decision to invite the people was due to the refusal of the emirate council to cooperate with the commission in the ongoing investigation.
According to him, it is necessary for the commission to hear from them because there was no document suggesting that the money was spent for that purpose.
“No referral letter from any hospital in Nigeria that warrants the need to travel abroad; no any other document to support the claim while some said the visited country read only overseas.
“So the invitation of the emir’s family is not intentional. It is an innocent move as part of our fact-finding mission and if the emirate council had cooperated with us it would not have led to this. A staff of the council like accountant can provide us the necessary information,’’ he said.
The chairman, therefore, urged for the cooperation of the emirate council to conclude the investigation and advised the public to disregard any insinuation aimed at frustrating the probe.