[OPINION]: Kwara Committee Of Inquiry; For How Long Shall We Continue To Wait? - 9japarrot


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Friday, 2 April 2021

[OPINION]: Kwara Committee Of Inquiry; For How Long Shall We Continue To Wait?

By Babaita Abdulrasheed

Justice delayed is justice denied was the time-tested cliche that came to my mind when I read last week that a white paper committee has been set up on inquiry into sales, disposal and unlawful acquisition of Kwara State Government properties between 1999 and 2019. I think this just amounts to formalities and a waste of time. If my memory serves me right, this will now make it the third committee set up by the State Government on same issue. The question now is when then do we get justice for the unwholesome practices that reportedly took place under the Saraki dynasty?

The first committee was the Senator Ajadi led committee established immediately after Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak came to power. The committee unearthed damning shady practices of the past; from how some Kwara choice properties were sold out for two-two naira to how many of them were not even paid for but cornered by the powers-that-be.

We Kwarans thought with the findings of the committee, the Governor will immediately sprang into action but it was not so. Another committee was later set up to review same matter, led by Justice Orilonise. The committee also spent weeks coming out with almost similar findings. When we thought the time has finally come for the Governor to go after the indicted persons and get justice for the state, another committee was set up. When will the process for getting justice start then? Given the slow judicial process of the country, this is a matter that shouldn't take time at all. The administration is almost two years in power, what happens when another administration comes in? There is high possibility that the case will be thrown out and killed. What will this administration have achieved then?

It's time for Governor Abdulrazak to hit the acceleration button. He is too slow with taking actions and decisions. The State Executive Council is yet to be formed till date. Since the Chief of Staff died, there has been no replacement. The Chief of Staff to President Buhari and the Chief of Staff to Governor Zulum died about the same time, both have found replacements. Why is Kwara case different? It is not good enough that Governor Abdulrazak dissolved the SEC and waited for months only to return back former commissioners. The long wait therefore had no meaning. Time in the reign of an administration is very precious. It should be utilized judiciously.

If care is not taken this administration may end its term without attracting a single investor into the state. A report early this year showed no investor has been attracted to the state so far. We may be tempted to ask what has happened to the Kwara Investment Promotion Council established by the Governor recently?

Those who looted Kwara properties should not have laugh at the end of the day. This committee upon committee without results so far is making mockery of getting justice for the state. Most of these alleged thieves are on the prowl. Those who uses Harmony Holdings to milk out resources have left. Senator Ajadi committee revealed how Harmony Holdings was used to corner Kwara resources. Where is the 3 billion naira pumped into this organization by the previous administration without result? Who are those getting punished for it? Will Kwarans get justice? This same organization is still in operation by the present administration. Are they also using it to corner public resources? When will Kwarans get back all the properties sold to private hands by Saraki dynasty? This committee upon committee is slowing down justice and this administration may not achieve its set objectives at the end of the day if care is not taken.

Abdulrasheed is a Kwara-born Social Scientist based in Lagos. Email: [email protected]

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