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Anti-graft commission probes alleged N23m empowerment scheme fraud in Kano

KANO State Public Complaints Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) has launched investigations into allegations of fraud in the recent disbursement of over N23.2 million empowerment funds to street hawkers.

The fund was provided by the state Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and disbursed to 465 hawkers within the state who were to get N50,000 each.

However, there were allegations that some officials forced beneficiaries into parting with a part of the money meant for strengthening their businesses.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the commission’s chairman, Muhuyi Rimin-Gado, said anyone indicted in the fraudulent act would be brought to book.

“The commission is investigating the matter and anyone found involved would be brought to justice. The commission is determined to prevent corruption from undermining the integrity of the empowerment initiative of the government and ensure that justice is served,” Rimin-Gado was quoted as saying.

Some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment funds were captured in videos circulated on social media, saying they were forced to return as much as N45,000 to the officials.

Others said they were denied access to the venue where the money was being shared.

The governor had said the funds should be disbursed with priority given to the vulnerable groups in the state, including youth and women.

The ICIR reports that the anti-corruption agency’s chairman had come under investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in 2023 over allegations of corruption, according to a report.

His indictment had come shortly after the chairman commenced fresh investigations into a video that showed the state former governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving bribes in dollars from a contractor.




     

     

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    Some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment funds were captured in videos circulated on social media, saying they were forced to return as much as N45,000 to the officials.

    Others said they were denied access to the venue where the money was being shared.

    The governor had approved the disbursement of the funds to empower youth in the state.

    He said the funds should be disbursed with priority given to the vulnerable groups in the state, including youth and women

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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