BY HAMMED SALAWU MINNA
Contrary to media report (not Nigerian Pilot), that a leading aspirant in the Niger state People’s Democratic Party,PDP, Alhaji Isah Ladan Kantigi is being wanted by the anti graft agency, the EFCC, he has debunked claims that he is on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial crime Commission EFCC watch, attributing the narrative to desperate political rivals.
Alhaji Isah Ladan Kantigi responding to some faceless groups who are clamouring for his arrest and persecution in an interview said the call is laughable as those behind it are simply scared of his rising political profile ahead of the primaries and the main election.
“It makes me laugh a lot, I was Chairman of Edati for seven years, go to the records of the Council. If I have stolen one Naira out of it, you can’t be Chairman and be an Accountant.
“There must be record on how much the Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy affairs of Niger State was sending to all the Local government Areas and how much I had stolen there; I was Chairman that executed my job so satisfactorily that the then Governor appointed me as a Commissioner
“Everybody knew I had no godfather, like I do say to people my father was a Mallam, who stays here (Village) and teach people the Holy Quran, I don’t know anybody that knows anybody.”
According to him, the genesis of the faceless attack on him was a petition some individual wrote to the EFCC over his alleged “promotion” of a company known as Katah property and Sadiq Air Services which were alleged to have fraudulently syphoned monies from Edati and Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy affairs respectively.
He Explained that he has no relationship with the companies beyond promoting them in the State stressing that, when his attention was first drawn to the petition while receiving medical attention abroad he personally called the owners of the companies to submit themselves to EFCC investigation.
“The matter went to EFCC under Mangu, and he started investigating and I was not in Nigeria, as I went for treatment abroad, the news got to me and I told the owners of the companies to go and face the investigation and they went and they were charged to Court.
“Whatever happened in Court I don’t know as EFCC has the right to investigate anybody and you have the right to go and clear your name.”
Alhaji Kantigi noted that under the Nigeria constitution it is not a crime for any one to promote a company owned by his friends so long as they embark on legitimate business dealings.
“They are registered companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission, but a whistle blower said I sponsored the companies to Niger State. Even if I sponsored the Companies to come and work for Niger State, what is wrong with that?”
“I don’t just understand, they said I can’t come back to Nigeria, that the EFCC Chairman has ordered for my arrest, that
In any Airport internationally I am found, I have been ordered to be arrested, but I say I am coming back to my own Country, the new EFCC Chairman will not just get up and do what is not right.”
The PDP Governorship hopeful disclosed that three of his political rivals in the main opposition party were so shocked on his return to the country.
“They were so shocked how I came back to the country, the idea is he will stop our chances, he will begin to mortgage our chances, but let them go and test their popularity in their communities, some of them are not even known in their communities talk less of knowing the names of the Chairmen of their own parties.”
He revealed that the judgement of the Court of Appeal dated 18th March 2022 has completely exonerated him as Justice Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu in an appeal against the decision of a Federal High court, Abuja division suit no FH/Abj/Cs/359/2017 cleared him of any wrongdoing.