Al-makura: Plot To Bribe Panelists With N400m Exposed
In a bid to sway the decision of the 7-man probe panel recently constituted by the Chief Judge of Nasarawa state, Justice Umaru Dikko, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is allegedly set to bribe four of the members of the panel with N100m each to turn the decision of the panel in its favour.
The plot is said to be hatched at the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja, with the aim of garnering more of the panel members on its side.
This desperate move is said to have been prompted by fears that the panelists could discharge their duty with open mind which could give rise to a clean bill for Al-makura.
Poised not to leave anything to chance, the PDP is making this last move to implicate Al-makura by all means to pave way for his impeachment.
Commenting on the allegation however, Senior Special Adviser to Governor Al-makura on Publicity, Abdulhamid Kwarra, a former Majority Leader in the state Assembly, denied knowledge of the plan.
He told our reporter on phone that it would however not be a surprise if the PDP should embark on such moves because of its level of desperation to return to power again after wasting 12 years in the saddle.
“It is not surprising that they are embarking on such moves. The PDP is so desperate to return to power by all means having wasted 12 years misruling the state” Kwarra stated.
The SSA noted that having frittered away the opportunity given to the PDP when it held sway in the state for 12 years, the people of the state have since 2011 decided to usher in a development-centred government.
Kwarra explained further that even if members of the PDP chose to go that far, he is of the view that members of the 7-man panel are persons of proven integrity who would carry out the task ahead with every sense of responsibility and in order to ensure that peace reigns in the state.
“The members of the panel are God fearing and will carry out their duty based on the strict adherence to the guiding principles. They are trustworthy and capable of carrying out their responsibility without fear or favour” he said.
Meanwhile, investigations by our reporter revealed that a brother to one of the lawmakers, Mohammed Agah Muluku (PDP, Nasarawa-Eggon West), was yesterday waylaid by irate youths in Lafia, resulting in the burning down of his car.
Supporters of the governor had earlier mobilized ahead of a purported move by the lawmakers to sneak in and reconvene at the Assembly complex allegedly to pass a resolution seeking to freeze the accounts of the state government.
SSA to the governor on Publicity equally denied the allegation but however said the lawmakers were free to conduct their business at the Assembly as there is adequate security at the complex to guarantee their safety.
“Their conscience must be pricking them for the lawmakers to become fearful of conducting their affairs at the Assembly. If they know they are doing the right thing, why are they afraid of openly appearing at the Assembly?” Kwarra queried.
Several attempts made to get reaction from the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, proved abortive as several calls and text messages sent to him could not go through.
But a member of the party’s leadership, who reacted on condition of anonymity because he had no official permission to do so, said the insinuation that the party has perfected plans to bribe the Nasarawa lawmakers was baseless and unfounded.
According to him “The party had said severally that it was not involved in whatever is going on in Nasarawa state. It is entirely an internal affairs of the legislature in that state. We have said it over and over that the PDP believes in separation of powers and would not, in whatever way, interfere in the internal affairs of the states.
“It is even ludicrous for anyone to say that a meeting held at the PDP National Headquarters to discuss how to bribe panel members. With whom was the meeting held?”he queried. “I think the APC should face their troubles and leave us alone.”
He continued “That was how the enemies of democracy were dragging the names of the party and that of President Goodluck Jonathan into the Adamawa state issue until the impeached state governor himself came out to exonerate the President. I think people should try and separate local issues happening in the states from the party’s national leadership.”
In a related development, PDP members of the Nasarawa Assembly met yesterday in Karu and resolved to reject the composition of the 7-man panel probing the allegations they made against the governor.
The panel, headed by Yusuf-Usman, was set up by the Nasarawa State Chief Judge, Suleiman Dikko, to investigate the 16-count impeachment charges levelled against the governor by the lawmakers.
Citing insecurity, 19 members of the Assembly, all members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state held their sitting at a building in Karu Local Government Area, behind the local government secretariat. The four lawmakers, who belong to the governor’s All Progressives Congress, APC, were absent at the sitting.
At the end of the sitting, the lawmakers rejected the seven-member panel, accusing Dikko of disobeying the constitution in setting up the panel.
Announcing the decision of the Assembly, Speaker Musa Mohammed ( PDP – Nasarawa Central ) said that the composition of the panel negates the provision of Section188 of the Constitution.
Mohammed also said the panel has no right to sit until a guideline is forwarded to them by the Assembly.
He alleged that the panel was not formed in compliance with Section 188-5 of the constitution that demands that people of integrity to be appointed into the panel.
The Assembly based its decision on a petition written by a group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens, alleging irregularities in the composition of the panel.
The petition, which was read on the floor of the Assembly, alleged that two of the seven members of the panel are card carrying members of PDP while others are in the pay roll of the state government.
Danladi Jatau moved a motion urging the chief judge to dissolve the panel while Philip Gyunka supported the motion.
The Speaker then directed the clerk to communicate the resolution to the chief judge.
Reacting to the resolution of the Assembly, the Nasarawa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, said that the action of the Assembly is the highest level of insanity. He urged residents of the state to disregard the resolution.