Politics

‘Yes, we can probe Kwankwaso’

Mr Muhyi Magaji Majiya is the Chairman of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission. In this interview, he says that Kano state has now joined the Open Governance Partnership, OGP, an initiative to ensure transparency and accountability in governance. He is also assures that if his commission is furnished with facts on the allegation of mismanagement of N350 billion by the past regime, he is ready to do the needful. *Kwankwaso Excerpts: What is Open Governance Partnership? It is a global initiative whereby civil society groups, labor unions and the government come together to form a partnership for transparency and accountability in governance. That is what is called open governance. They set a benchmark and watch whatever government is doing in governing the affairs of people. Nigeria joined OGP in 2016 and in 2017 Kano state through a letter submitted to the OGP office at the Federal Ministry of Justice sought to join OGP. Kano state was subsequently approved and welcomed to the OGP family. Kano state is second only to Kaduna state to join OGP in Nigeria. What is unique about the Kano’s OGP? The Kano’s OGP is unique because it is not led by a single Chairman, but has co-chair, one from the civil society and the other from the government. All the stakeholders are equal, so the action plan is developed by the both the government and the civil society groups. It is not dominated by the government.

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The chairman of the Public Complaints and anti-Corruption commission is the co-chair representing the government. What is the idea behind the OGP? It is to stop wastages as well as fight corruption in governance. This administration of Dr. Abdullahi Gabdije promised to ensure accountability in governance and while other states were having reservations about the OGP, Kano state fully subscribed to it. How will it assist your commission? It will assist my commission in various ways especially in the fight against corruption. Investigation leading to prosecution is not the only way to fight corruption. Employing an effective mechanism of preventing corruption like the OGP is equally a good way of fighting corruption. This will save the government the cost of prosecution and cost of investigations. It will also enhance good relationship among the citizenry. It is not our wish to always arrest, investigate and prosecute. With a mechanism like the OGP all that hard work would be drastically reduced. There would be less people engaging in graft due to the mechanism of OGP in place. OGP will therefore complement what we are doing. In a situation whereby the government feels jittery working with civil society or the civil society being uncomfortable working with governments, the OGP has found a level playing ground where all interests are represented. This is like a new structure in governance going by the executive order establishing it whereby an OGP desk will be created in all MDAs in the state, how do you hope to go about that? I am the co-chair representing the government. There is the co-chair representing the civil society groups. The executive order did not make me to be the chairman but made this Commission to be the lead agency. All responsibilities have been defined as regards those to be discharged by this agency, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Information and those to be handled by the Head of Service. Is this commission going to look into the recent allegation of squandering over N350bn by the immediate past government of Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso? If that allegation is brought before the commission, certainty it will investigate it accordingly. It might interest you to know that even as the commission is established by the government, we are not under the directives of those in government. We are not joining issues with anybody based on allegations. If anyone has satisfactory facts he can put it into writing and submit to the commission and we will do our work accordingly.

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