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Group seeks accelerated hearing in Kano anti-graft Commission’s appeal



Dissatisfied with the decision of a Kano State high court in respect of the fight against graft in the state, some civil society organizations have called on the Court of Appeal, Kaduna division, to accelerate hearing in the appeal filed by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission (PCACC).

The groups, comprising Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said the accelerated hearing has become imperative in order to safeguard the mandate of the state anti-graft body.

Represented by the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, the group in a media chat in Lagos maintained that the decision of the lower court to halt the investigation of former Kano State commissioner for health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf, was discouraging the fight against corruption.

According to Musa, the state anti-graft agency had received a complaint against the Commissioner, alleging that he diverted some money meant for the up-keep of some Kano State students studying in Cairo, Egypt.

But the embattled commissioner approached the state high court to enforce his fundamental rights.

In its decision last week, the court held that the anti-graft agency lacked the power to make an arrest.

“But an x-ray of section 38 and 45 of the PCACC law acknowledges the power of the police officers attached to the commission to make an arrest.

“The learned judge equally stripped the commission of the powers of detention while section 37 and 45 of PCACC law allows the commission to detain a person within a period of 24 hours.

“The learned judge went ahead to even grant an order which the applicant have not asked for, by scrapping the operation department of the commission, whereas section 21 (2) is unambiguous on the powers of the commission to establish other department apart from the ones established under sub-section 1 thereof”, Musa explained.

He added that the judge went ahead to grant a N10 million damages against the commission in favour of the plaintiff, who was never detained or investigated for alleged corrupt practices.

Consequently, the group urged the judiciary to, as a matter of principle, desist from any act capable of undermining efforts against corruption in Kano.

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