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Pressure group, Kano gov’t differ over withdrawal of N235m

The Kano State Civil Society Situation Room (KASCISSIR) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged withdrawal of over N235m by the Kano State Government for the purpose of buying votes ahead of the March 23 rerun election in the state.

A copy of the petition dated March 14, seen by Daily Trust, alleged that the sum of N235.5m was withdrawn from the Kano State Government treasury through the Ministry for Local Government and allocated to different local governments that INEC has scheduled to hold supplementary elections on March 23.

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When contacted, the Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Murtala Sule Garo, dispelled the claim, saying it was mere allegation aimed at tarnishing the image of government.

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Garo said the withdrawal in question was meant for execution of some projects in 13 local government areas of the state and that some of the benefiting local governments were not among those affected by the March 23 rerun election.

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He said, “Of course some money was allocated to 13 local government areas for execution of various projects but that does not mean the money was meant for vote buying.

“Take for instance Kumbotso, Kabo, Dawakin Tofa and Tsanyawa local governments, they were allocated N12m, N24m, N22m and N17.5m but no rerun election will take place there. So, it is not true that the money was allocated for votes buying,” he said.

“If it is true that the money was meant for votes buying as claimed by the civil society, then we should have shared the money among the 30 local government areas where the rerun will take place,” he said.

The petitioners noted that the information of the released was contained in a leaked document dated March 12 which was available in public domain.

“Furthermore, on 13th March, arrest of some votes buying agents have been made in some communities where gubernatorial rerun election will take place, and some of those agents confirmed that they were working for the ruling APC in the state, as one of them confirmed on Freedom Radio programme (In da ranka),” the petitioners alleged.

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