PRELIMINARY REPORT OF INVESTIGATION IN RESPECT OF PETITION OF FINANCIAL MISAPPROPRIATION AGAINST KANO STATE EMIRATE COUNCIL UNDER THE PRESENT EMIR MUHAMMADU SANUSI II.
The Commission is in receipt of a complaint filed by Concern Friends of Kano Emirate dated 28th March, 2017 on allegation of Financial Misappropriation by Kano Emirate Council under the Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. The petitioners raised some allegations bordering on spending the funds without due regards to due process. They alleged that, the Emir (Muhammadu Sanusi II) engaged in indiscriminate spending without regards to due process and the rule of law.
In the exercise of its powers under the provisions of Section 9 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended) the Commission launched an investigation into the allegation and in conformity with the provisions of Section 15(2) and (3) of the Commission’s enabling law wish to forward the preliminary report of the investigation to the Government. The opinion of the Commission is that disciplinary action be taken before further legal action.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The case was initially filed before the Commission by Concern Friends of Kano Emirate on allegation of Financial Misappropriation by Kano Emirate Council under the Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. In their petition they raised some allegations bordering on spending the funds without regards to due process. They alleged that, the Emir (Muhammadu Sanusi II) spent over Three Hundred and Sixty Million (N360,000,000.00) only in the provision of CCTV in the Emir’s Palace. This is in addition to expenditures on hotels, chartered aircraft and many more which petitioners alleged to be well over Four Billion Naira.
The investigation commenced in 2017 through inviting the officers who are directly connected with the maintenance of the Treasury of the Emirate for information and interview and also requested for relevant documents covering the said period of investigation which the Emirate Council complied.
In the same vein, the Commission received an information from Ministry of Planning and Budget and Office of the Auditor General Local Government Audit in respect of:-
(a) Approved budget for the Emirate Council from 2013 to 2017
(b) Audited Financial Account of the Emirate Council from 2013 to 2017.
The Commission also got statements from the Financial Controller of the Emirate who is also the Walin Kano Alh. Mahe Bashir Wali, Sarki Waziri the Deputy Secretary of the Emirate as well as Rufa’I Buhari who is the Treasurer of the Emirate Council.
At the peak of our work during that period an investigation into the activities of Emirate Council was also commenced by State House of Assembly. The Commission then sent a letter to the speaker of Kano State House of Assembly seeking for clarification as to avoid duplicated investigation as enshrined under Section 16(1 )(a) of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Law 2008 (as amended). The letter was duly acknowledged but never replied. (Copy attached). The Commission, as a mark of respect to the House and in fairness to the parties under investigation halted and suspended its investigation. It was after the closure of the Assembly’s investigation that the Commission then decided to re-open and continue with its investigation with a view to ascertain the true position of things.
While the investigation process was going on, another complaint was lodged by Cardinal Architecture Ltd. against the Emirate Council, specifically the Chief of Staff who is the Danburam of Kano. The company alleged that it was awarded a construction work at Baban Daki and the money was paid to Tri-c Nigeria Ltd. but was never paid to them. The complaint bothered on Eighty Four Million Nine Hundred Thousand and Twenty Three Naira Naira (N84,900,023.00) only which was alleged to have been criminally diverted for personal use. This prompted the Commission to merge the complaint together and treat it as one.
In the cause of investigation an invitation letter was served on four personnel of the Emirate Council for discussion and clarification on some expenditures incurred and the Commission believed they are at the right position to clarify but three persons refused to honour the invitation on the instructions of the Emir. By way of substantiating the assertion, Munnir Sanusi (one of the invitees) honoured the invitation of the Commission barely a week before the subsequent matter on a separate case.
The Commission also got necessary information from the hotels, Airline companies, travelling agencies and telecommunication companies. To expedite action, the investigation officers also travelled to some of the affected companies in Abuja and Lagos in order to receive more information and clarification on some documents in furtherance of the investigation.
The fund in question is regulated by the provisions of Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004. The law provides under Section 4 that:
4.(1) “Every Local Government Council in the State shall in respect of each calendar month contribute three percent (3%) of the amount of its monthly statutory allocation into the fund
(2) The State Government shall in respect of each calendar month contribute an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the total contribution of the Local Government Councils in the State made pursuant to sub-section (1) into the Fund Section 8 Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004 which deals with the utilization of the funds provides that:
8. The Fund shall be utilized:-
(a) For the payment of salaries, remuneration, allowances and other fringe benefits of the persons described in the schedule,·
(b) To defray all expenses of working and managing the affairs of the Council and its properties;
(c) To defray the cost of such works of a capital nature as the Council may deem necessary from time to time,·
(d) To grant loans and make advances to the persons on such terms and conditions as the council may approve,· and
(e) To defray operational expenses that may be incurred in the course of the general administration of the funds.
The schedule to which the above section relates provides inter alia that
1. Emirate Councils and their staff;
2. Other employees of the Emirate Council”
3. Royal Guard (Dogara!),-
4. Palace Staff (Yaran sark!),·
5. Persons employed for the administration of the Fund
The Law also mandates the preparation of the budget by the Emirate Council which is required to be transmitted to the Governor for necessary action apparently in conformity with Section 11 of the Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004.
Investigation revealed that the Emirate Council failed to forward their estimate to the appropriate authorities as required by Law establishing the fund for consideration.
❖ From 2013 to 2017 Fifteen Million Naira (N 15,000,000.00) only was approved as budget for the Emirate annually based on the submission of the Ministry of Planning and Budget vide communication No. MPB/PLN/S/309/V.l/62 dated 26th April, 2017. (Copy attached).
This suggest that, in the first place there was no budgetary provision to authorize all the alleged expenditures.
❖ The Commission also got a statement from Financial Controller who confirmed that the Emirate Council approves its budget which indicated a gross violation of Section 120 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Section 11 of the Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004 as well as Section 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Law 2008 (as amended).
❖ In the cause of the Commission’s investigation some expenditures that were incurred without following due process or appears to be suspicious were uncovered. Huge sums of money were transferred to some banks accounts which were claimed to be companies’ accounts.
However, the companies appears to be either unregistered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or dormant that cannot appear in the public search of the companies register. Investigations also shows that those unregistered companies are linked to some of the identified suspects in the emirate council. Investigation will later reveal the beneficial owners of those entities.
The suspicious transactions are as follows:-
1. MASPHAL ASSOCIATE:=
The company was paid the sum of N100,000,000.00 in 2014 and N39,565,475.00 in 2015.
2. PROJECT PLANNER AND DEVELOPER COMP. LTD
The company was paid the total sum of W24, 163,776.17 in 2014.
3. MODERN SOCIETY CONST. COMPANY
The company received the sum of WB,749,107.00 in 2014 as payment for work.
4. WAVES STUDIO:
The sum of N9,484,500.00 was paid to the company in 2014, the sum of N1,977,900.00 in 2015, the sum of N4,678,500.00 in 2016 and the sum of N616,730.00 in 2017.
5. CHOSEN ONE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED:
The sum of N4,666,950.00 was paid to Chosen One Global Technologies Limited in 2015
6. FLOORS ARCHO CONSULTANTS:
The sum of N22,691,280.00 was paid to the company in 2014, N32,586,333.00 in 2015 and the sum of N1,343,903.00 in 2017.
7. ICX SOLUTION LTD:
The company was paid the sum of N10,445,820.00 in 2015 and another N6,298,680.00 in 2016.
8. HIKIMA VENTURES/S. HIKIMA & SON:
The sum of N4,041,165.76 was paid to this unregistered company in 2014, N27,947,201.90 was also paid in 2015, N19,162,163.50 in 2016 and lastly N5,759,825.75 was paid in 2017.
9. ABUSAIBA INVESTMENT:
The sum of N24,184,151.75 was paid to the company in 2014 despite been not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
10. PHILKO LIMITED
In 2014 the sum of NS0,000,000.00 was paid to the PHILKO Limited.
11. CEM NIG. LTD.
The sum of N3,880,000.00 was paid to the company in 2014 and N372,141.00 in 2015 was paid to the company.
12. MOFHAN ENTERPRISES LTD
The sum of N1,312,500.00 was paid to MOFHAN Enterprises Ltd. in 2014 by the Kano Emirate Council.
13. MODI INVESTMENT LTD.
The sum of N38,953,552.00 was paid to the company by the Emirate Council in 2014.
14. DABO GATE IDEAL RESOURCES:
The payment of N175,175,560.00 was effected to Dabo Gate Ideal Resources in 2014.
15. LUGO SUPPLIERS:
The sum of N14,854,500.00 was paid to the Company in 2014 by the Emirate Council.
16. JUBAILI BROS ENGE. NIG. LTD:
The payment of N3,230,829.00 was made to Jubaili Bros Eng. Nig. Ltd. in 2016.
17. CARDINAL ARCHITECTURE:
In 2015 the sum N30,000,000.00 were paid by Emirate Council to the company.
18. SHUNT ENGINEERING CO.
The sum of N48,057,747.50 was paid to Shunt Engineering Co. in 2014 and also the sum of W22,478,491 .27 was paid in 2015 and another N29,261,949.93 was paid in 2016.
19. OCHOR MECHPLANT ENGR. LTD:
The sum of N1,570,000.00 was paid to the company in 2014 by the Emirate Council.
20. CONTINENTAL OFFSHOW LTD.:
The sum of N38,750,000.00 was paid by Emirate Council to the company in 2014.
21. MAWUD Nig. Ltd.:
The sum of N583,000.00 was paid to MAWUD Nig. Ltd. in 2014 by the Emirate Council.
❖ All the purported companies listed above allegedly carried out contracts with the Emirate Council. These companies are not in existence, as search for their corporate status came out negative and virtually all the purposes for the expenditures, the amount involved and the legal status of the companies revealed prima facie case of fraud in the management of the Emirate Council funds as there were no budgetary provisions to justify the expenditure.
❖ In 2014 the sum of Fourty Three Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Eighty Thousand Five Hundred Naira (W43,268,500.00) were expended in the fueling of Generator. Thirty Nine Million Six Hundred and Ninety Thousand (N39,690,000.00) only were expended on fueling in 2015, Twenty Two Million Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand One Hundred and Seventy Four Naira (N22,317, 174.00) only in 2016 and Twelve Million Four Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Eight Hundred Naira (N12,496,800.00) only were expended in 2017 all in fueling. To sum it all One hundred and Seventeen Million Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Four Naira (N117,772,474.00) only were expended on fueling from 2014- 2017 by the Emirate Council, the disparity in the amount so involved, the ratio at which the fuel was consumed from 43 to 22 Million called for suspicion and indicated acts of misappropriation and fraud.
❖ Also in the cause of investigation an observation was made on a transfer of One Hundred and Five Million, Five Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand (N105,595,755.00) from the Emirate Council’s account to an individual account bearing the name of one Engr. Sunusi Ti]ani who happened to be the Technical Officer to the Emirate Council at United Bank for Africa (UBA) during the period of 2014-2017 at different occasions. The largest which is Twenty Two Million Seven Hundred and Seventy Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Thirty Three Naira Ninety Two Kobo (N22,778,233.92) only was transferred on 22nd September, 2015. It was observed going by the record of expenditures from the said account that virtually all the money were withdrawn personally (self-withdrawal). This is a red flag for corruption and there is no way an individual not a corporate entity will attract such payments from Government at different interval in a legitimate transaction. This is also another trace of alleged corrupt practices and final investigation will reveal all the facts of the case.
❖ The sum of Fifty Four Million One Hundred and Eleven Thousand Fifty Five Naira (N54, 111,055.00) were expended by the Emirate Council from 2014 to 2017 on payment of airtime/data to Airtel Network Ltd. mostly on personal phone numbers. In his statement, Isah Bayero denied using his line to incur expenditure worth 25.6 Million while the remaining 29M was incurred by the Emir, his wives and Mannir Sanusi. Failure of the appearance of the invited suspects made it impossible for the Commission to conclude on this matter.
❖ Another area of concern which revealed a prima facie case of criminal breach of trust by servant is where the sum of One Hundred and Fourty Four Million Three Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty One Naira (N144,362,381.00) only was spent on Hotel Accommodation, payment of chartered Aircraft and payment of Air ticket by the Kano State Emirate Council from 2014 – 2017. Out of this sum Thirty Million Seven Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand Naira (N30, 762,000.00) only was spent on Chartered flights while the sum of One Hundred and Thirteen Million Six Hundred Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty One Naira (N113,600,381.00) only was spent for hotel accommodation and air ticket for the Emir’s travels. Investigation revealed that the purpose of the expenditure which was never budgeted for is unknown and all efforts by the Commission in requesting the Council to provide evidence to justify the travels as being official proved abortive.
Another complaint was filed before the Commission by Cardinal Architecture Ltd. against the Emirate Council. Specifically against the Chief of Staff who is the Danburam of Kano on alleged nonpayment of construction work at Babban Daki.
The complainant alleged the diversion of the payment to a company called Tri-c Nigeria Limited. The complaint involved the sum of Eighty Four Million Nine Hundred Thousand and Twenty Three Naira Naira (N84,900,023.00) only alleged to have been diverted for personal use. In order to avoid duplication in the investigation, the Commission decided to merge the complaints together and treat them as one.
It was discovered that, initially the contract was awarded to Tri-c for the renovation of Babban Daki, Kofar Kudu and Gidan Sarki at Dorayi which the company sub-contracted the contract to another company (Cardinal Architecture Limited) for the Babban Daki. A payment was made in respect of the renovation of Babban Daki but Tri-c Nig. Ltd. failed to settle the sub-contractor (Cardinal Architecture Limited).
It is the opinion of this Commission that Kano Emirate Council under the Chairmanship of the Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II has expended the sum of One Billion Four Hundred and Fifty Million Six Hundred and Fourty One Thousand Fourty Eight Naira Fifty Three Kobo (N1,450,641,048.53) only in various expenditures that is believed to be fraudulent and unappropriated. In addition to One Billion Nine Hundred and Eighty One Million Four Hundred Fourty Nine Thousand Seven Hundred and Fourty Nine Naira Fourty One Kobo (N1,981,449,749.41) unappropriated but seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of Three Billion Four Hundred and Thirty Two Million Ninety Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira Ninety Four Kobo (N3,432,090,797.94) only between 2014 to 2017. This expenditures contravene the provisions of Section 120 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Section 8 of the Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004, Section 314 of Penal Code as well as provisions of Section 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended).
It is also the opinion of this Commission, based on the available evidence that Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II continued to undermine the investigation through various means which include giving instruction to all officers invited for clarification to shun the Commission’s invitation. An act which is seriously affecting the process of our statutory responsibility and offends the provisions of Section 25 of the Commission’s enabling Law 2008 (as amended).
Based on the aforementioned findings and pursuant to the provisions of Section 18 (4) of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Law 2008 (as amended), the Commission hereby recommends as follows:-
(a) In view of the prima facie cases of criminal breach of trust by servant, official corruption and other related offences contrary to the Penal Code Law, Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended) and other existing Laws, the Commission recommends that the principal suspect in the person of Muhammad Sunusi II (the Emir of Kano) and all other suspects connected to this case or serving in the Kano State Emirate Council should be suspended pending the final outcome of the investigations. This is a necessary administrative disciplinary action aimed at preventing the suspects from further interfering with the Commission’s investigations.
(b) The Commission further recommends that the contract awarded to Tri-C Nigeria Limited for the renovation of Babban Daki, Kofar Kudu and Gidan Sarki Dorayi should be revoked as the company belongs to one of the suspects in person of Alh. Mannir Sanusi (The Chief of Staff in the Emirate). The company failed to settle the sub-contractor (Cardinal Architecture Limited) after been duly paid. Cardinal Architecture Limited should be paid for the work carried out in the contract.
(c) The appropriate authority should be put in place to oversee the affairs of the Kano Emirate Council in line with established statutes and policies pending the final outcome of the Commission’s investigations.
(d) The Commission further recommends for further legal action to be taken against all the suspects as soon as the final outcome of investigations is concluded and a legal advice accordingly issued out.
In conclusion, the above recommendations are hereby forwarded to your esteem office for further necessary action, please.
MUHUYI MAGAJI RIMINGADO