A Kano State high court has issued a restraining order against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), as well as other parties, preventing them from investigating the affairs of the state’s Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCAC) and its chairman, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado.
The development comes days after the EFCC, ICPC and CCB sent an invitation to the PCACC and its officials to answer questions concerning the activities of the commission from 2011 to date.
The Kano state government had dragged the federal government before the court over what it described as harassment and intimidation of the PCACC by three federal agencies.
Farouk Adamu, the presiding judge, in an ex parte order, asked the federal agencies and their agents to stop questioning or investigating officials of the PCACC.
The court also ordered the agencies to stop meddling in the affairs of the anti-graft agency.
The order with suit N0 K/M1128/2023, further advised all the parties involved in the case to maintain status quo.
Upon reading motion ex parte, together with accompanying affidavit duly sworn to by one Khalifa Auwal Hashim on 28th August, 2023,” the order reads.
“And after hearing Mr. H. I. Dederi Esq (Attorney General of Kano State) of Counsel for the Applicant, it is hereby ordered that all parties to maintain status quo ante-bellum.
“The recent intimidations and smear campaigns against the commission are the handiwork of people with skeletons in their cupboards,”
“We will not cut corners and we will strictly adhere to the rule of law. We are committed to ridding the state of corrupt public officers.”
In 2022, Rimingado was sacked by Abdullahi Ganduje, immediate-past governor of Kano, on allegations bordering on abuse of office. But on June 21, Abba Yusuf, current governor of Kano, approved the reinstatement of Rimingado as PCACC chair.
“Order is hereby included by way of Interim Injunction restraining the defendants/respondents from meddling or delving into the affairs or taking any step on, related to or in connection with the functions, duties and affairs of the plaintiffs/applicants.”
Speaking after the court order, Rimingado said no amount of blackmail, intimidation and smear campaign would deter the commission from performing its lawful duties.
Rimingado has vowed to investigate a video that appears to show Ganduje, now national chair of the All Progressives Congress (APC), receiving kickbacks in dollars from a contractor in 2017.
The court has scheduled the hearing of the originating motion for September 25, 2023.