Following the intervention of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, a member representing Kebbe/Tambuwal Constituency, Bala Kokani, has distributed motorcycles and sewing machines hidden in one of his residences in Sokoto.
A whistleblower had petitioned the ICPC, informing the commission about the lawmaker’s refusal to distribute the items as part of his constituency project.
The items, according to the petitioner, were federal government’s economic intervention for the constituency and intended for distribution to the constituents to fight unemployment and drive small and medium-sized enterprises through entrepreneurship and skills acquisition.
The lawmaker, the petitioner said, saw that as an opportunity to have the items stockpiled in his personal residence in the state capital for distribution as a vote-buying exercise on the eve of the 2023 general elections to gain electoral advantage.
Responding to the petition, the ICPC swung into action, traced the residence as provided in the petition, and had it barricaded for investigation.
Alarmed by the scandalous finding of the commission, Mr Kokani, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, allegedly sought protection from the leadership of the House of Reps to avoid prosecution.
Having accepted to back down from openly prosecuting the lawmaker, the ICPC mandated him to distribute the constituency projects immediately or face its wrath.
In a May 20, 2022 letter obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN, Mr Kokani acknowledged and accepted the conditions.
“I wish to write to notify the commission that I will be distributing the constituency items on Tuesday 24th of May, 2022 at 12:00 noon in Kebbe Town, Headquarter of Kebbe Local Government, Sokoto State,” the letter reads in part.
The lawmaker’s initial attempt to save the federal government interventions and have the procured items distributed during the 2023 elections, as alleged in the period, is in line with the plague of vote-buying that has characterized ongoing primary elections of major political parties across the country. The season has been characterized by open resorts to appealing to voting delegates through cash and various material incentives.