Kogi gov begins probe of past govts, inaugurates judicial commission

The Secretary to the Kogi State Government (SSG) administering oath on members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, inaugurated by the Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to probe past governments in the State, on Friday. Photo: Yinka Oladoyinbo.

The Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Friday commenced the processes of probing the past administrations in the state with the inauguration of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the activities of the past governments.

The eight-member commission of inquiry is expected to extend its probe to between May 29, 2003 and January 27 when former governors Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada governed the state.

Inaugurating the commission, Bello said it became necessary to look into the activities of the past administrations with a view to recovering the funds belonging to the state but found their ways into private pockets.

He said the decision to embark on the probe was not to witchhunt anybody that served in the past administrations in the state but to ensure that the state start on a new note.

According to him, government had also mandated the commission to recommend measures that would prevent stealing of public funds.

Bello added that his administration was ready to put Kogi on the path of development, urging the people to assist the commission in the discharge of its assignment.

The commission, which has as chairman, Justice Wada Rano, is expected to identify and collate a “comprehensive and updated list of contracts awarded by the previous administrations between the period of May 29, 2003 and January 27, 2016”.

Other terms of reference of the commission include, “determine whether the contracts awarded by Kogi State government between May 29 2003 and January 27, 2016 to individuals or corporate organisations were in accordance with due process, and/or were executed in accordance with contract agreement.

“The contract sum of the projects,  the amount actually paid to the contractor and the percentage of job done, identify where contracts wete executed contrary to agreement as a result of which government lost money, recover such money and make appropriate recommendations for such cases.”

Apart from this, the commission of inquiry is also expected to “identify the personal names of all contractors, either local or expatriates,  involved in all contract jobs awarded by previous administrations between May 29, 2003 and January 27, 2016 and their business addresses both within Nigeria and abroad”.

Speaking further, the governor lamented that 25 years after the creation of the state, it still ranks low in terms of development.

He now tasked the commission to be courageous and be on board in the discharge of its duties, urging them to always consider the integrity of the assignment given to them.