The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), on Tuesday condemned suspension of the Kano State Public Complaints Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman, Muhuyi Rimingado.
CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Rafsanjani in a statement in Abuja said that the suspension was unlawful.
“CISLAC which is the National Chapter of Transparency International (TI) in Nigeria received the news of the unlawful suspension of the Chairman, Magaji Rimingado by the State House of Assembly.
“This is on a baseless allegation backed by an unconstitutional process.
“Coming at a time when we are calling for the independence of Anti-Corruption institutions and more accountability at sub-national levels, this sends another concern about the state’s commitments to combat corruption.
“We are disappointed at the self-serving position of the State Assembly which has the fundamental mandate to protect and allow citizens’ interest to prevail in its legislative activities, flouting provisions of the rule of law and procedures,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that this incident and other reported cases involving outright disregards for the rule of Law and procedures raised public concerns on the level of credibility, integrity and independence maintained by Kano State House of Assembly.
He said that the provisions of Sections 6 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Law 2010, gave only the Governor the power to remove the chairman or any member of the commission.
“We are not unaware that suspension of Rimingado
has been triggered by the reported undemocratic political attempt instigated.
“This is by some politicians to undermine the independence and integrity of the commission, and his earlier rejection of an illegally-driven direct posting of staff from the office of Kano State Accountant-General as against Section 15(1) (g-h) of the Law establishing the commission.
“This enshrines such within the functions of the commission; and the provision of section 8, which states that “in exercising its powers under the Law, the Commission shall not be subjected to the direction and control of any authority,”’ Rafsanjani added.
Rafsanjani said that CISLAC had been following with keen interest the competence, commitment, and progress of the commission in the war against corruption and injustice that had continued to yield appreciable impact in the state.
He said that it was observed from the politically motivated suspension effort to divert the commission’s attention and frighten its operatives from the progressive struggles at digging deep into and uprooting major corruption cases in the state.
Rafsanjani said that CISLAC was disturbed that in spite of various pledges and effort by the present administration to combat corruption at all levels, anti-corruption operatives and institutions were seriously endangered and sabotaged at sub-national level with deeply rooted political resistance.
“We, therefore, call on the Kano State House of Assembly to redeem its integrity and reconsider its decision on Rimingado’s suspension.
“The failure of the Kano State Assembly to retract the suspension would have grave consequences and indeed back pedal the state progress in the anti-corruption fight and pave way for a bad precedent.
“We demand openness and transparency in further legislative activities that may involve any resolution or action against Magaji through a well-attended public hearing to enable appropriate participation and accommodate positions of civil society groups,” he added.
Rafsanjani encouraged all operatives of the commission never to succumb to threat or intimidation by any person or group, but instead strengthen the fight against corruption through enhanced strategies as enabled within legal provisions.
He called on all well-meaning Nigerians and the media to kick against an unjustified decision or resolution at all levels to frustrate the ongoing anti-corruption fight in the country. (NAN)