May I begin this analysis by saying, though the emergence of Mahadi Aliyu as the state Deputy Governor and by extension PDP to the seat of power after the 2019 election is least anticipated, many had anticipated that, the resistance of Mahadi Aliyu to defect together with the Governor to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) may likely cause crises of confidence between the duo.
When Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma started the move to get the Deputy Governor impeached in July last year, many of us are of the opinion that he is acting on a prepared script may be because the Deputy Governor has refused to defect or because starting the move may likely influence the Deputy Governor to change his decision.
But to say the least, it is an open fact that, since June last year when the Governor defected to the APC governance in Zamfara has indeed suffered and the Governor no doubt needed a reliable and capable aide who shall stand in for him, especially in his quest to getting himself stabilize amidst the national crises of the APC.
But when Mahadi went to court to secure an order experte challenging the move by the state parliament to impeach him in July last year, we thought the matter is laid to rest considering the fact that many Deputy Governors who refused to defect with their principals had successfully ended their tenure especially those who had filed a case to seek for court protection like the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State.
After Mahadi secured an order experte in July 2021 instead of him to continue to follow through the legal rudiments to secure himself protection against the political hammer of the state parliaments he, however, became relaxed thinking all is going to end well but the Governor and his political architects took him unaware and initiated a second move this time around with surprising political sharp bends which he found very difficult to manipulate.
As a lawyer for instance, he knew very well that the life span of an ‘’ORDER EXPERTE’’ cannot last beyond (14) days and I expected him and his legal team to take notice of the fact that, if the motion on notice has not been moved 2 weeks after the order experte was issued the court protection has been lifted up by implications.
Now the legal questions that may be the lawyers may answer based on their legal opinions is whether the PDP case currently before the Abuja Federal High Court may suffice looking at the fact that same matter challenging the defection of the Governor was determined by Justice Bappa of the Federal High Court Gusau. and the learned judge took the position of the Supreme Court that the defection of an elected civilian Governor may not in any way resulted to losing a gubernatorial seat.
My fear is what happened if the outcome of the other court case in Abuja which they solidly relied on now came with the same pattern of the interpretation by Justice Aminu Bappa?, this is a timely question may be for the PDP.
The basis of the new ‘’ORDER’’ claimed to have been secured on Monday from the Abuja High Court by the PDP is still in doubt. The Principal Personal Secretary to the former Deputy Governor Aminu Umar said ‘’the Abuja court has directed the Governor, Speaker and State Chief Judge not to take any step that may resulted in causing chaos and breakdown of law and order’’. But the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barr. Junaidu Aminu debunked such claim saying, he was in court and such an order has not been issued, instead ‘’the judge offered an advice which must not be taken’’.
I am also not in doubt that looking at the profile of the Chairman of the panel of the seven that found the Deputy Governor guilty of the charges labelled against him retired Justice Soba and indeed the Senior Advocates of Nigeria that are in the panel may not likely act if there is a valid order as claimed by the PDP. Again, the State Chief Judge must not act against a court order by constituting a panel to investigate the charges instituted against the former Deputy Governor if she knew fully that such an order or valid and alive. I don’t think she can risk her professional carrier to please political power brokers.
Now all these are the political dimensions of the whole scenario,, but the most important part of the whole drama is the conduct of the panel of investigation which took place on Monday and Tuesday. In my opinion, the revelation coming from the Monday sitting to be precise really calls for the Governor to seat up very stronger because things are not working well in most of the government ministries and agencies.
I cannot believe someone who is promoted to the rank of Permanent Secretary in the state service may act in such a manner that calls for embarrassment of the state. The former permanent secretary in the office of the Deputy Governor Mainsara Bakura told the panel that since his resumption as Permanent Secretary in the office of the Deputy Governor in November 2020, he has only seen Barr. Mahadi on the screen of the television attending party activities somewhere out of Zamfara state.
When asked how he has been securing approvals of the Deputy Governor to be spending money allocated to their office he said when he came in as Permanent Secretary in November 2020 he met a VERBAL STANDING ORDER’’ that he shall be signing three cheques of (N30M) to one Umar Aminu the Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Governor and Lawali Adamu who is the cashier to the Deputy Governor’s office.
Ask how the money sent to the PPS is spent Bakura said as Permanent Secretary he cannot account for that and surprisingly, his Director of Finance one Mai Kano Yanruwa affirmed that the two cheques of (N10M) each issued to the PPS no one in that office can explain the purpose the money was meant for.
Now, the question is: How on earth would you be releasing cheques running into millions of naira to someone on ‘’VERBAL INSTRUCTION’’? Does it make any sense? And where is accountability??
I think the Head of Civil Service of the state and indeed the Accountant General need to seat up and canvass for adequate release of funds to embark on rigorous training of the state civil servants. Because certainly the human resource that Governor Matawalle relied on are no doubt incapacitated going by the narrations during the panel seating.
I think the Governor should take it serious with the Accountant General concerning the end of the year financial statement because that will be the basis of how the Governor should understand the way the money he is releasing are being spent by the MDA’s. For me, the annual financial statement produced by the state Ministry of Finance is lacking in credibility, looking at the scenario that characterized the revelations at the panel of inquiry on Monday.
As for the new Deputy Governor, the experiences of how Barr. Mahadi handled the affairs of the office of the state Deputy Governor will surely serve as a head-light for him to do the appropriate thing.
May Allah change things for the better in Zamfara state.