Nigeria Matters

The House is Mine – Sokoto Governor

Within hours of publishing our last story entitled, “Sokoto Governor Has His Share of London,” a gentleman, Akibu Dalhatu, wrote a rejoinder to us. In the rejoinder Dalhatu questioned the veracity of our reports. Akibu Dalhatu is a former National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) leader and currently is a Special Assistant to the Sokoto State Governor. A few hours ago the Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, told Elendureports.com that he is, indeed, the owner of the house we mentioned in our report.

Governor Bafarawa, who is presently in the United States attending a United Nations Conference on Youth, spoke exclusively with Elendureports.com. He declared to our reporter, “The house you guys mentioned in your story belongs to me. I bought the house in 1999, about a month after I became the Governor of Sokoto State.” When told that documents in our possession show the house was bought in 2004, the Governor said, “The House was leased from 1999 until 2004, when I completed payment for the house. I bought it from a Sokoto businessman who lived in that house for about thirty years.”

Elendureports.com asked the Sokoto Governor how he was able to afford the house, Bafarawa said, “I was a wealthy business man before I became Governor. I sold my Aso Drive, Abuja house in 1999 to the Federal Government of Nigeria. They were looking for a house for the former President of Niger, who is now deceased. I used some of the money I realized from the sale of my Abuja house to pay for the London house while I saved the rest of the money.” The Governor refused to tell Elendureports.com how much he realized from the sale of the house but a source very close to Gov. Bafarawa told our reporters that the Governor was paid about one hundred million (N100,000,000.00) naira for the house.

Our reporter asked the Governor if the said London home was declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau in 1999 or 2003, he declined to answer the question insisting that he could comfortably afford the house. “I don’t really have to declare it. I can afford the house,” Bafarawa said.

Touting his anti-corruption credentials, the Sokoto State Governor said, “I was the one who told the Minister of Finance to start publishing allocations to States and Local Governments. Before now, governors always complained that that they did not have money to run their states because the Federal Government was short changing them. Now the information is there for everybody to see.”

What is the Governor’s reaction to the plight of Gov. DSP Alamieyeseigha, Bafarawa said, “What Alamieyeseigha is going through now will make other governor’s to sit up. And thanks to Elendureports.com, public officials in Nigeria now know that they are being watched by some reporters who are not afraid to say what they find.”

Gov. Bafarawa had been advertised as one of the major attractions to the Independence Day celebrations in New York. Why did the Governor not show up for the parade? “I was there last year. I didn’t think it was necessary for me to attend this year’s celebrations,” Bafarawa told Elendureports.com. When told that Sokoto State was the only state that was allocated a caravan, the Governor, who denied funding the parade, said, “Maybe they gave us a caravan as an honor to me.”

The Sokoto State Governor admitted that the embattled Chairman of the Sokoto Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Umarun Kwabo, is a very close friend and ally of his. Gov. Bafarawa told our reporter that he wrote a letter to Nuhu Ribadu, the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to recover all the money stolen from Sokoto State from Kwabo if, indeed, it is true that such a crime was committed by his friend. He promised to send the letter to Elendureports.com.

Throughout the impromptu interview, Gov. Bafarawa kept insisting that he wanted our reporter to know him. During the interview, the Governor came across as a very unassuming and humble person. Elendureports.com legal analyst said, “Whether the Governor bought the house in London one day, one month, or five years after becoming Governor of Sokoto State, he broke the law. It is against the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a public official to acquire property or maintain bank accounts outside Nigeria.” The Governor did not seem to realize that his acquisition of a property in London was illegal. Such pervasive naiveté on the part of our public officials makes the war on corruption a façade.




Email: jonathan@elendureports.com

8 Comments

  1. Elendureports is bringing back a replica of Dele Giwa type of authentic and fearless type of journalism in Nigeria. I wish you the best. From Ralph Ogunremi (USA)

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  2. the article states clearly that the exception to te general rule in paragraph 11 is if the property was an income gift or a loan …..the governor did not purchase the house on a mortgage neither was it a gift….it was paid for in cash and clearly no declaration was made…….go figure(to author 1)

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  3. dont mean to sterotype the poster of comment 1 but i take it that your are from the north and didn't go to school and can neither understand nor read English properly…….What do you think paragraph 11(3) meansno let me guess.. the governor is allowed to loot the treasuryInstead of wasting your time online trying to create an arguement with no foundation enrole yourself in night school quicklyi assure you if nothing else it would help in your translation of basic text.

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  4. Author of comment 2 sadly you are the ignorant one. No property not fairly attributable to income gift or loan. The sokoto governor has attributed his to income from selling his abuja house and loan to pay it off…until u prove otherwise you are aboslutely ignorant..and for your information you cant still read..touts calling themselves journalists.

    3) Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income gift or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved.

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  5. Author of comment 1. Thanks for the Constitution; but it seems you either you cannot read english or understand english. What do you think Part 11.3 of your posting mean! You illitrate. No property is no property; whether in Nigeria or abroad.

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  6. This is a sad joke.If an elected governor of the federal republic of Nigerian can display such crass ignorance and a shameless intimacy with crimeit means the polity is doomed.Where exactly is the meaning of our own brand of politicswhere are we heading

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  7. There is no where in Nigeria constitution that public officers are dissalowed from buying properties in foreign land..oinly owning a public account is prohibited..U ignoramus…this is the content of the code of conduct sub-section in the constitution for your consumption..for ur information. No where was Foreign Assets mentioned.

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    Nigerian Cons. 1999. Fifth Schedule Part 1

    public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.

    2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph a public officer shall not

    (a) receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any other public office; or

    3. The President Vice -President Governor Deputy Governor Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Governments of the States members of the National Assembly and of the Houses of Assembly of the States and such other public officers or persons as the National Assembly may by law prescribe shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.

    4. (1) A public officer shall not after his retirement from public service and while receiving pension from public funds accept more than one remuneration position as chairman director or employee of –

    (a) a company owned or controlled by the government; or

    (b) any public authority.

    (2) a retired public servant shall not receive any other remuneration from public funds in addition to his pension and the emolument of such one remunerative position.

    5. (1) Retired public officers who have held offices to which this paragraph applies are prohibited from service or employment in foreign companies or foreign enterprises.

    (2) This paragraph applies to the offices of President Vice-President Chief Justice of Nigeria Governor and Deputy governor of a State.

    6. (1) A public officer shall not ask for or accept property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.

    (2) for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms business enterprises or persons who have contracts with the government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention of the said sub-paragraph unless the contrary is proved.

    (3) A public officer shall only accept personal gifts or benefits from relatives or personal friends to such extent and on such occasions as are recognised by custom:

    Provided that any gift or donation to a public officer on any public or ceremonial occasion shall be treated as a gift to the appropriate institution represented by the public officer and accordingly the mere acceptance or receipt of any such gift shall not be treated as a contravention of this provision.

    7. The President or Vice-President Governor or Deputy Governor Minister of the Government of the Federation or Commissioner of the Government of a State or any other public officer who holds the office of a Permanent Secretary or head of any public corporation university or other parastatal organisation shall not accept –

    (a) a loan except from government or its agencies a bank building society mortgage institution or other financial institution recognised by law; and

    (b) any benefit of whatever nature from any company contractor or businessman or the nominee or agent of such person:

    Provided that the head of a public corporation or of a university or other parastatal organisation may subject to the rules and regulations of the body accept a loan from such body.

    8. No persons shall offer a public officer any property gift or benefit of any kind as an inducement or bribe for the granting of any favour or the discharge in his favour of the public officers duties.

    9. A public officer shall not do or direct to be done in abuse of his office any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of any other person knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy.

    10. A public officer shall not be a member of belong to or take part in any society the membership of which is incompatible with the functions or dignity of his office.

    11. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter –

    (a) at the end of every four years; and

    (b) at the end of his term of office submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties assets and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years.

    (2) Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorised in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code.

    (3) Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income gift or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved.

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