Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado: Tribute To Anti Corruption Czar

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By Adnan Tudunwada

When Governor Abdullahi Ganduje renewed the tenure of Muhuyi Magaji as the Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission, I was more than overwhelmed because only a few can do what Muhuyi Magaji is doing in ensuring justice for the weak.

In his first day in office when he was appointed, I was part of those that accompanied him to the commission, from the look of the premises on arrival, I know it is a good place that one will prove his capacity. The governor may have developed an interest to appoint Magaji into this critical agency looking at his track record as Chairman and founder of Grassroots Anti-Corruption Awareness Network Initiative (GACANI).

Muhuyi successfully fought so many injustices in Kano and was at the forefront of Anti Corruption advocacy in the state for decades. I can vividly recall this passion he has for enlightening people against corruption and bad governance that has resulted in the hardships Nigerians are experiencing today.

He sued the Kano State government over the appointment of caretaker chairmen in local governments where he won with an order that an Interim Management Officer should be appointed as Caretaker Chairman of a local government whom must be a civil servant on grade level 14.

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That was the beginning of Interim Management Officers in Kano against the caretaker chairmen that were appointed by previous governments who happened to be politicians.

Muhuyi is a dogged personality, no-nonsense that’s not scared of fighting any form of injustice, he is a man of honour and integrity whom I’ve come across and worked with for the past 10 years.

Magaji can spend a whole day with no single kobo but the moment he got money, he’s not afraid of spending it all for the people, one thing that makes him popular and relevant in the politics of Rimin Gado, Kano North and Kano at large.

Before his appointment, we were all aware of the status of the anti-corruption agency, it wasn’t functioning as expected, people don’t even have the confidence of going with their complaints but the moment Magaji came on board and with the series of reforms he brought to the agency, people are more confident of forwarding their complaints to the agency than the Police, Hisbah, Village Heads or even courts of law. They know that they will reclaim their right with Muhuyi as the head of the commission.

“He has steer and reshaped the commission in the right direction by making it to become a subnational example of both ombudsman and anti-corruption agency in the country.

He was instrumental in reshaping and redirecting the state anti-corruption agency to become more visible and people centred.” This was in the words of the governor of kano in a statement announcing the renewal of his tenure as Kano Anti Corruption Boss.

Not only that, but Muhuyi was also able to reform and reshape the agency. In a statement he made during the end of the year 2019 briefing, he said:

“The Kano Public Complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission has made recovery of N256, 014, 170.00 in the year 2019. According to the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Barr. Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado who briefed journalists at the Kano Press Centre, the Commission received a total of 3, 192 complaints. He added that 608 were resolved, 72 withdrawn, while 220 complaints were declined, within the year under review”.

This is one of the best things that  ever happened to the commission, I don’t think if there is any functional and vibrant anti corruption and public complaints commission like the one in Kano. Magaji has set an example for other states to follow.

He wasn’t selective as no one is left untouched, in as much as complaints was received or any case of corruption. He has recommended the suspension of many government officials that are in the habit of cheating the weak, guilty of corruption or otherwise.

Magaji recommended the suspension of a serving commissioner for land who was in the habit of abusing his office. Of recent, his no nonsense approach didn’t spare the dethroned Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II over a case of misappropriation of emirate funds.

As COVID-19 is all over the world, some countries are in total lockdown with Nigeria as an example if not for the easing of the lockdown few days ago by government.

Lockdown has prompted so many traders to inflate the prices of essential commodities, some are in the habit of hoarding to cause hardship to the people which is against the Public Health and Infectious Diseases law of Kano State.

Muhuyi as dogged as he is who has always stand by the poor, he has been serving his state with dedication, commitment and service to humanity commenced the seizure of essential commodities hoarded by traders after a 24 hours ultimatum to them that he would swing into action against such an evil act.

This was contained In a statement issued to newsmen on Sunday by the commission which read in parts:

“The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission issued a 24-hour ultimatum to traders engaged in hoarding food items and essential commodities to dispose of the goods or risk seizure.

The commission also directed traders involved in a unilateral hike in prices of food items to sale them at regulated prices or risk forfeiture.

The Chairman of the Anti-Graft  Commission, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, said this in a statement on Sunday in Kano.

Rmingado disclosed that the commission had uncovered fraudulent activities by some traders who were taking advantage of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic to hoard and inflate prices of food and essential commodities.

He noted that hoarding and unnecessary hike in prices of food items is capable of undermining government efforts to stem the pandemic and breach security of the state.

Rimingado said: “This action of hoarding and unauthorised hike in prices of goods) is a crime under provision of Regulation 11 (2) (3) and (4) of the Kano State Public Health (Infectious Disease) Regulation 2020.

“The action is capable of undermining the security of the state to the fact that a lot of Islamic clerics (Ulama) have been making reference to it in their Ramadan fast lectures.

“Consequently and in accordance with Section 39 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Law 2008 (as amended), this commission secured a search warrant before one of the mobile courts established for the purpose of the current situation with a view of accessing the exhibits suggesting the hoarding and artificial inflation.”

According to him, the commission based on intelligence gathering will embark on search and seizure of the food items hoarded by traders in accordance with Section 39 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Law.

Rimingado listed Singa; Dawanau, Hadejia Road, Bello Road, Malam Kato, Gezawa and Sharada markets as some of the suspected areas to be raided by the operatives of the agency.

He explained that the title documents of affected properties would not only be revoked, but that such properties would be seized by government.

According to him, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje has approved the operation in public interest and his (Ganduje’s) personal conviction that artificial scarcity of food and essential commodities is worsening the precarious palliative situation in the state.

Recall that the governor had earlier expressed concern that dealers and traders of food and essential items in the state are selling the commodities at above 100 per cent hike.

Ganduje also confirmed at a briefing on COVID-19 last Saturday that two major manufacturers of essential commodities from the state, Messrs Aliko Dangote and Abdulsamad Isyaka Rabiu , Dangote and BUA Groups, respectively, informed him that they did not approve any price increase on their products.

Consequently, Ganduje directed the anti-graft agency to monitor point of sales of such commodities, confiscate the items from recalcitrant traders and inject them into the state’s palliative programme for distribution free to residents in accordance with relevant laws.

Rimingado expressed optimism that the measure would strengthen government palliative exercise and cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown in the state”.

Immediately after this statement, Magaji already swung into action by invading a warehouse where these hoarded essential commodities are kept to cause hardship to the people. I am  sure he will allow the law to take its cause…

If there is any public servant in Ganduje’s administration that deserve accolades, who is working hard in projecting the image of this administration with his good work, a great public servant that the government and people of Kano should be proud of, he is no one than the former Vice Chairman of Rimin Gado local government Muhuyi Magaji.

He holds a National Certificate of Education from Saadatu Rimi College of Education, Advanced Diploma in Law from BUK, Bachelors of Law degree from Bayero University, Kano and a BL from Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja. He was called to the bar in 2018.

Adnan is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator, he writes from Kano.

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