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Kure Appears Before Judicial Commission Of Inquiry

Posted by From AbdulAzeez Sanni, Minna on 2008/11/22 | Views: 1855 |

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Kure Appears Before Judicial Commission Of Inquiry


The immediate past governor of Niger State, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure, yesterday testified before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up by the state government to probe the award of contracts during his eight-year administration.

The immediate past governor of Niger State, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure, yesterday testified before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up by the state government to probe the award of contracts during his eight-year administration.

In case number JCI/NS/236/2008, the former governor testified on eight issues listed against him.

His lead counsel, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had, before the commencement of proceedings, told the commission that the relevant documents tendered before it, which his client requested for, had not been made available to him.

He explained that apart from the records of proceedings, no other relevant documents were made available to his client.

He said that, as a result of the development, his client would only give evidence on those issues on which he had sufficient information and knowledge.

On the reconciliation of the state's foreign debts which was mentioned in the summons, Fagbemi noted that since the contracting firm had sued the government over the issue, it would be subjudice for his client to comment on it.

The counsel, however, assured the commission that Engr. Kure was fully prepared to answer any question on the other issues raised in the summons.

While being cross-examined on the purchase of tractors, which were alleged to be sub- standard, Kure prayed the commission to summon former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. M. I. Wushishi, whose company supplied them, to testify as to whether they were genuine or fake.

The chairman of the commission, Justice Aliyu Mayaki, consequently ruled that Gen. Wushishi should appear before the commission on December 15, 2008.

The state's solicitor-general and lead counsel to the commission, Barrister Ndagi Wali, while cross- examining Engr. Kure, requested him to tell the commission what he knew about the N221 million loan obtained by the state government in 2002 for the purchase of 50 tractors and fertiliser.

Kure informed the commission that the tractors were actually purchased, but that the repayment of the loan was halted because of a court judgement, which ruled that the federal government had no right to make deductions from the state's statutory allocations to repay any loan to any private organisation or body.

On the supply of radio transmitters, the contract of which was awarded to CESCO company in 2001 for N500 million, but were yet to be supplied, Kure demanded for the contract documents and correspondence between the contractor and the Ministry of Information.

He explained that the documents would enable him draw conclusions on why the contractor failed to perform after collecting N100 million from the state government.

On the sale of government quarters to civil servants in 2000, the former governor said the auditor- general and other accounts officers in the Ministry of Finance were in the best position to explain how the proceeds were disbursed.

He said: "As the chief executive of the state, it is not my responsibility, day-to-day, to police government accounts."

According to him, "You are not being fair to the office of the governor to hold me responsible for everything. The office of the governor is a serious one and I trust that we won't play politics here."

Based on the request of his counsel, Mr Fagbemi, the case was adjourned till December 15, 2008, to enable Kure perform this year's pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

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