Lalong begins probe of predecessor, Jang
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, yesterday, inaugurated a six-man judicial commission of inquiry to review the administration of former Governor Jonah Jang. Inaugurating the panel at Government House, Rayfield, Jos, Lalong said: “The constitution of this commission is certainly not for persecution but for us to set a solid foundation for the pursuit of that which will guarantee the prosperity of our people. It is also not a witch-hunt but a hunt for that which has probably been hidden from our citizens.”
The governor noted that corruption “in all its ramification stagnates and retards development,” and that “every leader worthy of the people’s mandate is under the compulsion of duty and conscience to ensure it is checked.”
He, therefore, called on Jang to see it as a duty to come before the commission to clear himself when invited to do so, even as he gave assurance that the members of the commission have been carefully chosen and are persons of worthy character and cognate experience.
The commission has three months to submit its report. Its members are: Justice Stephen Adah, chairman; Prof. (Mrs.) Bibiana Bawa; Barrister Aliyu Sangei; Prof. Ekoja B. Ekoja; Engr. Samuel Onu Agamah; and Alhaji Sani Yahaya Mavo, Secretary.In his acceptance speech, Adah promised to carry out the assignment with the seriousness it deserves, commitment to the rule of law and pursuit of truth and justice.
Calling for cooperation from the public, he said the subject matter of the inquiry would span an eight-year period: May 29, 2007 – May 29, 2015.The commission’s terms of reference include ascertaining all financial transactions done or entered into by the Plateau State government or through any of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), parastatals, institutions or officials, acting in its name;
Ascertaining and establishing all financial allocations, funds, grants or monetary interventions and revenues which accrued to or in the name of the state government directly or through any of its MDAs, parastatals, institutions, officials or agents from the Federal Government or any international institutions or donor agencies.
Other terms of reference include ascertaining and establishing all loans granted to or obtained by the state government directly or through any of its MDAs, parastatals, institutions, officials or agents from any public institution(s), organisation(s) or individual(s) and the purpose for which such loans were obtained and whether the loans were used for such purpose;
Ascertaining the total amount paid by the state government as salaries and allowances of serving and retired civil servants, local government employees and political appointees, whether any person or employee of government or any of its MDAs parastatals or institutions received multiple payments or salaries or pensions, and the role played by any person(s) toward such payments, and the total difference in terms of figures between the actual payments made in the name of salaries or pensions and what should have been paid by government for that purpose.
Lalong added: “Through this public declaration of purpose, I have inaugurated this commission, which on the one hand, will look into the activities of the past administration, while on the other hand also serve as a caution sign and clarion call to political office holders and civil servants, to know that we will at the end of our term be called upon to give account of our stewardship.
“And by the same parameter with which we assess others, we also are setting the parameter upon which we will be assessed. This is the conviction and consciousness with which this commission has been inaugurated.”