From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
Niger State House of Assembly adhoc committee investigating the over 72 missing tractors in the state has said it has no option than to invoke constitutional rights on the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Abbas for refusal to appear before the committee.
The Chairman of the adhoc committee, AbdulMalik Madaki representing Bosso Constituency said thrice, the commissioner refused to appear before the committee for questioning.
He disclosed this in an interview with newsmen at the Assembly Complex, Minna on Tuesday.
“The committee will go ahead and present its report to the House with recommendations for possible adoption,” he stated.
He said that the commissioner has no excuse to be absent at different occasions, stressing that others who were invited, including present state All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman and present Permanent Secretary of Finance who once served at the ministry appeared before the committee for questioning.
Madaki stated that during their investigation, the committee discovered that the former commissioner in the ministry signed a memo that was approved by the governor which prompt the committee to invite him and the former permanent secretary that signed a letter directing local government councils to release three tractors each to the contactor.
Meanwhile, the state APC Chairman, Haliru Jikantoro after meeting with the committee said: “I was invited to the House of Assembly for interrogation on some missing tractors that belong to the local governments when I was the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
“What the committee wanted from me was information about a particular transaction during my stewardship as the commissioner then, fortunately for me, the transaction started in April, 2016 when I was in the Ministry of Lands, therefore, it was not me who initiated the contract. I came to the Ministry for Local Government in December, 2016 and by then, the concept has already been given to the contractor and he had started work on does tractors.”
He further stated that during his time as the commissioner for Local Government, contract for the refurbishment of 25 local government tractors was not given approval.