‘Arrest, Prosecute Haruna Kolo Now,’ Group Urges Anti-graft Agencies

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…No Place For Former/Interim Commission Secretary.

The attention of the Amalgamated CSOs of Nigeria (ACN), an anti-corruption, pro-democracy, pressure group and human rights activists, has been drawn to the on-going investigations and hearing by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating job racketeering and mismanagement of IPPIS in MDAs across the country, chaired by Hon. Yusuf Gagdi. The CSOs wonder why it is only the Federal Character Commission (FCC) that has been consistently intimated, harangued and made a public spectacle instead of all other MDAs summoned to appear before the Ad-hoc Committee.

The ACN is miffed as to the shoddy treatment and unprofessional manner, including the magnitude of with-hunting carried too far by the FCC Federal Commissioners from Osun and Lagos states who, according to findings, are the master-minds that have consistently worked in tandem with Haruna Kolo, their so-called star witness for the hearing, who has refused to continue to show up for the hearing according to the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, who said “I also don’t know why Kolo is not coming back to appear before the Committee, he seems to have absconded. I will sign a letter to AMCON to produce Kolo on Thursday.”

The Chairman also emphasized that “It is better he listens to us, unless he is acting a script and selling lies to us, he should come so we can interact with him. We owe everybody the duty of care,” according to Rep. Yusuf Gadgi, who went further to say, “We need him by 10am tomorrow (Thursday), the Clerk of the Committee should call AMCON on phone, tell them to produce Kolo or do they know what Kolo is hiding.” He also asked rhetorically, “Kolo cannot come and tell us he collected money, linked it to a personality and not be willing to substantiate the claim.”

It can be confirmed that AMCON is part of the agencies yet to attend and honour the invitation from the Reps Ad-hoc Committee. It will be recalled that during the week, other star witnesses appeared and revealed to the House what transpired. The two witnesses were: Abdulmalik Isah and Ali Muhammad Yero. These witnesses confirmed paying a combined sum of N3 million for job placements to Haruna Kolo. Their testimonies before the lawmakers came on the heels of confessions by a former mastermind and disgruntled protocol officer at the FCC, Haruna Kolo, that he received millions of Naira from job seekers on behalf of his boss by remitting the cash value without receipts and empirical evidence to show for it.

A press statement signed by the National President of the Amalgamation of CSOs of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Gbanga Ashiru Abiodun and National Secretary, Comrade Yakubu Abdullahi, said the Almagamated CSOs have it on good authority that the Osun and Lagos Federal Commissioners are part of the large anti-Tinubu forces in both states.

The duo worked assiduously behind the scene against the Tinubu Campaign and Presidency, and that is why they are hell-bent to smear, possibly remove through the back door. To achieve this, they written series of petitions to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the office of Attorney-General of the Federation, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Chief of Army Staff, who is from Osogbo, Osun State, all in a bid to tarnish, shame and disgrace Dr Dankaka from her office.

But our coalition states authoritatively that these clandestine plots will surely fail as facts emerging from the hearing have proven otherwise. Therefore, the group strongly condemns the manner the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee handled the issues thus far as “a calculated with-hunt deliberately orchestrated as if the Committee was only out to deal with Dr Dankaka in the midst of so many other MDAs that have been left in the lurch and the FCC singled out for these phantom lies and fallacies.”

The Amalgamated CSOs further states: “We are sending a note of caution to the SGF, AGF, COAS and other anti-graft agencies, particularly the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to be weary and mindful of the mischievous plots and campaigns of calumny orchestrated by these elements of destabilization and to also discountenance and disparage their petitions as enemies of the President Ahmed Bola Tinubu administration and Dr Dankaka’s leadership.”

They reason that, though the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr Dankaka has refuted the allegations, maintaining that she is innocent of the employment racketeering which was also confirmed by the witnesses who, when asked in the hearing, said they are not aware nor know the Chairperson and that Haruna Kolo is the master-mind and the person that has consistently dealt with. They further revealed that it was Kolo that captured them on the IPPIS platform at the Treasury House and they have never dealt with any other personality.

The Amalgamated CSOs have vehemently opposed the treatment meted out to Dr Dankaka, including raising an alarm on what they described as “shoddy treatment of the Executive Chair of the FFC.” This is because, they reasoned that Dr Dankaka’s organization has been solely hijacked, because “there are more to it than meet the eyes.” They asked: “Why has Haruna Kolo not been arrested and prosecuted by now for having worked in three different government institutions at the same time, accumulating large sums of funds in his different accounts as against Civil Financial and extant laws?”

The attempt by the Ad-hoc Committee and disgruntled Commissioners to stampede and coarse Dr Dankaka to submission is unacceptable by well-meaning Nigerians, even when facts emerging from the hearing have spurred the Amalgamated CSOs compelling them to react and do their investigations based on sampled opinions of Nigerians, women groups, petitions from Arewa Women and other groups who are in support of good governance practice and who believe that Dr Dankaka is been with-hunted, innocent of all allegations and the so-called cabal spearheaded by the disgruntled Commissioners from Osun and Lagos states respectively, as well as Haruna Kolo should be stopped at all costs from maligning and mudslinging the leadership of FCC.

Using different scientific and informal methods, the CSOs have joined their voices and stake their integrity on these demands, to say, they must “rat-out” these centripetal forces who, over time, have denied Nigerians employment opportunities and have fleeced them of their hard-earned money. On this premise, “we state categorically that before Dr Dankaka came on board in 2020, 64 illegal recruitments had taken place and appointments given by this same cabal and racketeers. And, out of the said number, 24 had refused to go. Their employment letters were fast-forwarded in order to blackmail Dr Dankaka, who had to set up a disciplinary committee to look into the issue and find them culpable and change immediately the letterheads of the Commission as it was the old letterheads that were being used to issue them with their letters of employment by the cabal.”

The Chairperson has consistently stated that she is innocent, but the cabal and Adhoc Committee would not accept her submission of innocence. Now, the facts are being unveiled which point to the fact that Haruna Kolo is the master-mind of the whole employment racketeering saga.

The Secretary to the Commission that has acted briefly before her assumption is also part of the clandestine plot, doing everything possible to come back to resume business as usual. Before the ascension of Dr Dankaka, the FCC was a market place of sales and racketeering, but she immediately went to work that it was not going to be business as usual, and as such, the hawks descended heavily on her, using every known means to cast aspersions and blackmail her. And when they did not succeed, they co-opted other conspirators in the House to disgrace her out of office. “We make it bold to say that, if she must go, then all the Federal Commissioners, the Secretary of the Commission and others that played a role in the ground plot must be made to also go,” the Amalgamated CSOs insisted.

Accordingly, they observed, “this is not the first such would be happening, as during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, six Federal Commissioners, including the Osun and Lagos states respectively, were on her jugular and did everything possible to break her down. As President Tinubu assumed office, the duo of Osun and Lagos Commissioners openly accosted Dr Dankaka, saying that the President was their own and they would do everything possible to disgrace her, not knowing that everyone knew where they stood during the elections as anti-Tinubu proponents.”

After thorough investigations, the Amalgamated CSOs found out these revealing empirical evidence:

* That Hon. Wale Oke and Osun State Federal Commissioner are “gang members” of the larger plot and were the first to raise the issue on the floor of the House and has consistently worked underground to undermine and malign the leadership of FCC, using their media contacts and connect.

* That the various petitions written to various would-be supporters, including the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Army Staff, have the list of members that attended their clandestine meetings sent to the above offices to show that they are hell-bent on removing her or ask her to step down.

* That the grand plot was to tarnish her image, cast aspersions on her personality, do consistent media trial and finally tell her to step aside, but facts emerging on daily basis from the hearing strongly suggest that “they will not succeed in their nefarious plans.”

* Haruna Kolo is a public servant that has been planted by the racketeering cabal for the past 10 years in the Commission.

The Amalgamated CSOs continued, “In view of the foregoing, we therefore call on patriotic Nigerians, the Press and the entire members of the National Assembly (NASS), to disregard, discountenance these machinations in all ramifications. Let the Ad-hoc Committee in particular, or the National Assembly in general, not swallow these allegations line, hook and sinker. Already, a lot of damage has been done to the personality of Dr Dankaka, which has caused her trauma, psychological torture in the eyes of discerning Nigerians and her nucleus family.”

The group has therefore posed these questions: “Why is the Federal Character Commission the main pre-occupation of the Ad-hoc Committee members, while they are supposed to be investigating other MDAs and Parastatals?” Again, “who has Dr Dankaka offended?” or “Who is afraid of her being in the saddle at the FCC?”

“Forcing her to swear on the Holy Quran with her photographs lavishly and prominently published by the press, alone is enough humiliation which should be stopped henceforth,” the Coalition avowed, adding that, “this is a calculated mischief carried too far to smear the Commission, in spite of the many infractions taking place on daily basis in other MDAs.”

They further added: “We condemn, in the strongest terms possible, this lackluster attitude of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee led by Hon. Yusuf Gagdi,” adding, “He who asks for equity must come with clean hands. You cannot lampoon and bastardize the hard-earned image of the Chairperson of FCC and, at the same time, not allowing her and her loyal and patriotic Commissioners at FCC to respond.”

“We are compelled to react due to the fact that the FCC has been on media trial for the past three weeks with various issues from the Commission dished and served to the Nigerian public by the Ad-hoc Committee and arm-twisting the Management of FCC, not to address the press to rebuff and do a rejoinder of all the unhealthy, bias statements and mischievous fallacies dished to the public,” the CSOs asserted.

The Amalgamated CSOs have therefore passed a vote of confidence on Dr Dankaka for her sacrificial and selfless efforts to reposition and rebrand the FCC and advise her to discountenance herself from the distractions of the Ad-hoc Committee, Federal Commissioners and Secretary to the Commission and concentrate on the task ahead.