Consultants in court for ’embezzling’ N1bn Kano microfinance funds

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By Nazifi Haruna

Consultants engaged to establish 37 microfinance banks in Kano State are being prosecuted in court by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for allegedly embezzling N1 billion.

This was revealed Tuesday by the Kano Commissioner of the ICPC, Shehu Yahaya, at a workshop organized by the commission on the role of religious and traditional leaders in fighting corruption.

Mr. Yahaya, who spoke to journalists at the event, said the case of the microfinance banks was just one of the many cases being prosecuted by the ICPC.

“One of the cases that should interest you is the one involving microfinance banks consultants over an allegation that a sum of N1 billion was frittered away in ways that were not proper. We’re prosecuting the case which has not yet reached conclusion,” he said.

“But it was not the banks’ management that are being tried, it was the consultants that were hired to establish the banks.”

In the keynote address read on behalf of the ICPC national chairman, Ekpo Nta, Mr. Yahaya said the workshop was expected to “delineate the clear roles of the religious and traditional leaders in promoting integrity at all levels”.

He said it was unfortunate that corruption is openly being practised in all spheres of public life just as integrity has become almost like a crime.

“Unfortunately, while corruption is being practised openly in offices and in places of business without compunction, integrity is practised in secret as if it were a crime and those who insist on doing things the right way are endangered species,” he added.

Some of those who attended the event and made paper presentations include Islamic scholars, representatives of the Kano Emirate Council and Christian clergymen.

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