As is the norm globally, whenever there is a change in Government, specifically democratically elected, the transition period was meant to enable the outgoing administration to tidy up and prepare a sound beginning for the incoming administration. In the same vein, the incoming administration uses the same period to study issues as would be presented by the outgoing regime and seek clarifications where necessary and other related matters and that will make a fertile ground for the new Government to flourish.
However, in Katsina state, it was entirely a different ball game, as the expired Shema regime refused to abide to all known procedures that would have ensured a smooth handing over on May 29, 2015.
In other words, he reneged on his pledge to allow his administration’s transition committee to harmoniously work in tandem for the benefit of the good citizens of the state. He refused all entreaties made to him to allow the two committees to work together or at least allow that of the incoming administration to go through and work on the handling over notes.
The incoming administration was left in the dark up to the 29th of May 2015, when the outgoing Secretary to the Government of the state made a haphazard handing over to the new Governor.
Faced with this situation, made the new administration under the able leadership of His Excellency, Rt Honourable Aminu Bello Masari CFR to set up a Committee to study the handing over notes and make necessary recommendations.
This Committee discovered so many anomalies especially in the financial records left by the expired regime, it therefore rounded up its job with the details of the extent of what went amiss. The new administration sought for clarifications from Barrister Ibrahim Shema CON, but he blatantly refused to offer any.
Another Committee was then set up to write a white paper on the report of the first Committee. The white paper maintained that there are still grey areas in the handing over notes and made its own recommendations as to how and what was missing and those responsible. The amount in dispute is about N72b and some landed properties all belonging to the Katsina State Government.
The new administration in its efforts not expose and paint the past regime in bad light, decided to invite some highly respected elders of the State to call on the former Governor to kindly listen to the voice of wisdom and come forward with the necessary explanations but he declined, saying that whoever feels he has a case to answer should take him to court.
The Government thereafter set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to recover the missing funds and properties. This will give all those fingered to clarify issues raised against them and protect their dignity and integrity.
This Commission had difficulties in serving summons to the former Governor and his Finance Commissioner to come forward and appear before it in respect of how Sure-P funds amounting to over N10b were utilized. The Commission opted to use substituted means to serve the summons, then his lawyer appeared and collected the summon claiming that nobody notified him of what was happening and that he will appear before the Commission and clear his name.
What beats all imaginations was a case filed at the Katsina state High Court (KTH/60/2016) by Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema against Governor Aminu Bello Masari and Ten others including the Commission and its Chairman Justice Muhammadu Ibrahim Suraj.
The case which is billed for mentioning today at the court bordered on the exercise of his (Shema) Fundamental Human Rights. Though not a lawyer, but what I understand, in layman’s language, is that he doesn’t want to appear before the Commission not to talk of giving account of his stewardship as the Governor of a state he ruled for 8 years.
I am perplexed as to how selfish one could be to even imagine that his Fundamental rights will override that of the Millions he ruled over. What the Commission is saying is simple; kindly exonerate yourself beyond any reasonable doubt and maintain your status and dignity.
On the other hand, one wonders what some gullible folks are celebrating to the extent of translatingfiling a case to mean a Court injunction in favour of their prayers. How disgusting.
For the avoidance of doubt, the case was filed on Monday 20th June 2016 and the Governor, Government and the Commission have up to 12am of 25th June 2016 to reply. Technically they have up to Monday the 27th of June 2016. Thereafter, his (Shema) lawyers will have seven days within which to respond.
The Commission on its own, adjourned sittings to attend to the issue at hand and not by any Court order as is being peddled by those whose eyes and vision have been blurred by hero worshipping.
Allah rayan Jihar Katsina.