How Kwankwaso Built Houses Pensioners Can’t Afford With N4.1bn Pension Fund

Rabiu-Kwankwaso-apcThe immediate past Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, spent N4.1 billion of pensioners’ funds building houses the retired workers could not afford, an official has said.

The Kano State Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Garba, stated this on a Hausa discussion programme on Freedom Radio on Saturday evening, the Premium Times reports.

Mr. Garba said the ex-governor, now Senator, borrowed the N4.161 billion from the pension fund to build Bandirawo and Amana Housing Estates with the aim that the pensioners could benefit from the houses.

He added that when the project was completed, the government realized pensioners could not afford housing units in the estates because of the cost.

In a state where the minimum wage is below N20,000, the commissioner explained that the least expensive house in the estates was sold for N17 million; with others sold for N18 million, N34 million and N38 million respectively.

“When the former governor realized that the houses are too expensive for a pensioner to occupy, he directed that 50 per cent of the price of the houses should be slashed,” the commissioner said.

“That is how these houses are being sold now, and despite the 50 percent discount, the price is still high.

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“The government initially thought that the pensioners could afford the houses, that is the truth,” he added in defense of the previous administration under which the current governor, Umaru Ganduje, served as deputy governor.

Mr. Garba said to resolve the complaints of the pensioners, many of who have not been paid their entitlements because of the former administration’s actions, the government had a meeting with the retired workers where it was agreed that a number of housing units in the estates would be allocated to them as part of their entitlements.

TheStreetReporters.com recalls that Senator Kwankwaso had recently approached a Kano State High Court sitting in Gezawa to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from denying him his fundamental human rights by arresting him.

Kwankwaso, through his lawyer, Barrister Okechukwu Eze, told the court on Wednesday how EFCC threat of arrest has confined him to his residence in Abuja.

Addressing the court on the experte motion filed to restrain the anti-corruption agency from arresting his client, Eze explained that the move by the EFCC, if executed, would deny the former governor his fundamental rights.

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Eze said: “My client has been in his house over the threat of arrest by the EFCC and have been denied the liberty to perform his legislative duties as mandated by voters of Kano central District”, adding that the action of the EFCC was predicated on a petition by an ‘unregistered association that has no written address.

“We have expressive fear that Kwankwaso’s right to liberty, freedom of movement as guaranteed under the constitution is likely to be violated by EFCC”, Barrister Eze stressed.

Though, the counsel admitted that the “EFCC has the power to investigate financial crimes”, he however insisted that “it should be based and founded on reasonable suspicion”

He argued that Senator Kwankwaso did not violate pension laws to warrant his invitation by the anti-graft agency, insisting that his client deserved applause for bringing surpluses to the pension fund.

Eze had said: “My client has been in his house over the threat of arrest by the EFCC and have been denied the liberty to perform his legislative duties as mandated by voters of Kano central District”, adding that the action of the EFCC was predicated on a petition by an ‘unregistered association that has no written address.

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“We have expressive fear that Kwankwaso’s right to liberty, freedom of movement as guaranteed under the constitution is likely to be violated by EFCC”, Barrister Eze stressed.

Though, the counsel admitted that the “EFCC has the power to investigate financial crimes”, he however insisted that “it should be based and founded on reasonable suspicion”

He had argued that Senator Kwankwaso did not violate pension laws to warrant his invitation by the anti-graft agency, insisting that his client deserved applause for bringing surpluses to the pension fund.

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