A former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has denied involvement in the alleged N35 billion arms deal scandal in the Ministry of Defence while serving as Minister of Defence.
Kwankwaso, who said he resigned as Minister in 2006 to contest the governorship election in Kano State, also exonerated his Special Assistant, Abdullahi Ganduje, and his Personal Assistant, Abba Yusuf, of any act of corruption while in the Ministry.
The former governor said this in a statement by his Principal Private Secretary, Muhammad Inuwa Ali.
He said he was no longer a minister when the purported contract was executed.
He said: “Ordinarily, we would not have bothered reacting to the unsubstantiated newspaper and social media reports making the rounds and targeted at maligning the image of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, but seeing the same report being carried by some media outlets that are ordinarily reputable, we are compelled to respond.
“The allegation that Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and his aides Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (the current Governor of Kano State, who was a special assistant of Senator Kwankwaso at the Ministry of Defence) and Abba Yusuf (who was the Personal Assistant to Senator Kwankwaso at the same ministry) are being investigated for fraudulent contract awards in the Federal Ministry of Defence is both mischievous and untrue. One of the media outlets even alleged that Abba Yusuf and Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje have collected N30 million and N50 million respectively. This is also untrue.
“We wish to put the record straight and draw the attention of the general public that during the said period which the alleged fraudulent contracts took place i.e. 2007, Senator Kwankwaso was not the Minister of Defence.
“He resigned from that position in November 2006 to free himself to contest for the governorship ticket of the PDP in Kano State. In fact, the only position he was holding at that time was representing the Northwest region on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). A position he voluntarily resigned from in 2010 because of his disagreement with the obvious corrupt practices in the way the commission was being administered.
“During the same period, Dr. Ganduje was in Ndjamena as Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission. Therefore, there was no way either Senator Kwankwaso or any of his aides at that material time could have been involved in the alleged defence contract scam.
“We therefore draw the attention of all respected media organisations particularly the print media to desist from publishing such unsubstantiated stories which will not only tarnish the image of reputable individuals but also the media outlets themselves.”