Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State has described the arrest of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Gambo Salau, and other principal officers as an attempt to intimidate and prevent them from defecting to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
About 11 Kabo Estate legislators were stripped of their security details and whisked away by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for “questioning” at their head office in Abuja.
This is coming less than a week after Kwankwaso announced his defection to the APC and is interpreted as an attempt to frustrate the governor and the lawmakers.
“It is crystal clear that the above mentioned public officials were arrested by the EFCC based on the orders from the above, because of the legislators’ defection to APC, in support of Governor Kwankwaso. This action is obviously to intimidate and cow them into submission for choosing to move to the progressive fold,” the governor said.
He added that the action is capable of overheating the polity.
“This action is not only despicable and absurd but also capable of igniting crisis in the polity, thereby breaching the relative peace that is being enjoyed in Kano state. It is regrettable that the EFCC is allowing itself to be a tool of witch-hunt in the hands of the powers that be,” he said.
The summon was contained in a letter with reference number CR:3000/EFCC/KNZ/EG/TA/VOL.10/123 dated Monday 23, 2013 and signed by the EFCC Head of Operations in Kano, Ishaq Salihu.
The letter did not clearly state the issues being investigated, but said that the commission was investigating a case which “concerned the lawmakers”.
Those invited were the speaker, his deputy, the chief whip, deputy chief whip and majority leader, deputy majority leader, minority leader, deputy minority leader, chairman house committee on appropriation, chairman committee on finance and the clerk of the house.
The EFCC spokesman. Wilson Ueujaren, has defended the commission’s action, saying that the legislators were not forced but willingly heeded an invitation for questioning.