Alleged graft: Kano seals off ex-commissioner’s hospital

Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday sealed off New Age Hospital owned by a former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labara. Labara served under a former governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso,

The property, according to the commission, was suspected to have been procured with proceeds of corruption by the political ally of the former governor.

It was also gathered that Kwankwaso was being probed by the agency for allegedly diverting over $500m foreign scholarship fund while in office.

Briefing newsmen shortly after shutting down the clinic, the Chairman of the Commission, Muhuyi Rimi-Gado, said evidence at his disposal indicated that the hospital was procured fraudulently about the same period the ex-commissioner was entrusted with the management of the state foreign scholarship funds for Kano indigenes studying in Egypt University.

He said preliminary investigation proved that Labara deducted $200m out of the total allocation during one of his foreign trips to Egypt, while additional $335m was paid into his account by some agents handling the scholarship scheme.

The PCAC boss hinted that a legal action would soon be instituted against Labara, noting that the confiscation of his property would also be initiated.

This, he added, was within the purview of the commission’s constitutional mandate.

Rimi-Gado said, “We have all the documented facts and evidence to prove our case against the ex-commissioner even at the law court.

“We have evidence to show that the property was purchased the same time he was being accused of embezzlement of foreign scholarship funds. Meanwhile, the government has taken over the property and we have the power to do so.”

The chairman said his agency would not be distracted, noting that he was determined to deal with all those involved in the embezzlement of public funds in the state.

“Let me assure the public that this commission will neither be distracted by any sentiment nor perceived allegation because we are here to do the job we have been mandated to do. All those involved in the scholarship scam would be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

Labara declined to react to the takeover of his hospital, saying he was consulting with his lawyers.

Source: Punch


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