A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has exonerated himself and his aides from alleged involvement in contract scam while he was Nigeria’s minister of defence.
According to newspaper reports on Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has launched investigations into contract deals in ministry of Defence in 2008.
Mr Kwankwaso, however, served as minister of Defence between 2003 and 2006.
In a statement by Mr Kwankwaso’s Principal Private Secretary, Muhammad Inuwa Ali, the former minister refuted the reports, saying he was not a minister when the purported contract was executed.
“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 Sen. 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 Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso and his aides Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (the current Governor of Kano State, who was a special assistant of Sen. Kwankwaso at the Ministry of Defense) and Abba Yusuf [who was the personal assistant to Sen Kwankwaso at the same ministry] are being investigated for fraudulent contract awards in the Federal Ministry of Defense is both mischievous and untrue. One of the media outlets even alleged that Abba Yusuf and Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje have collected 30 million and 50 million naira 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; Sen. Kwankwaso was not the Minister of Defense.
“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 Sen. Kwankwaso or any of his aides at that material time could have been involved in the alleged defense contract scam.
“We therefore draw the attention of all respected media organizations 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.”