A Sharia court in a Zamfara village of Nassarawa Mailayi recently ordered the right hands of Auwalu Abubakar, 23, and Lawali Musa, 22, chopped off for stealing a bull worth N130,000. The presiding Shari’ah Judge Muhammad Abubakar stated “trespassing into the house and stealing a bull is well above the minimum value to warrant amputation for their hands”. [In 2001, a cattle-thief had his right wrist amputated following conviction by a sharia court in the state after the then state governor Ahmad Sani Yerima approved the sentence. Zamfara state was the first of Nigeria’s 36 states to reintroduce sharia law after the country returned to democratic rule in 1999].
This is as 247ureports.com gathered authoritatively that the State Governor of Zamfara Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari was found on Tuesday September 13, 2011 in an embarrassing and compromising position with one of his concubines/mistresses in his private vehicle at 11:30pm along the road leading to his hometown in Talata Mafara.
According to the information gathered, Governor Yari who took office on May 29, 2011 as the governor of Zamfara State having rose to political fame during the Sani Yerima regime between 1999 and 2007 and has reportedly vowed to govern Zamfara State according to the dictates of Sharia – was found on the late night of Tuesday September 13, 2011 pleading with Achaba /Okada riders [Motorcycle transport operators] who found him in a sexually compromised position with a young girl in his car. The girl whose name was gathered to be Adama is said to be the daughter of a retired police officer – who have had an off and on relationship with the Governor. Information from one of the Achaba operator stated that the governor parted with the sum of N50,000 to the Achaba operators for their silence.
From the day of Governor Yari’s swearing-in as the Governor of Zamfara till date, reports have it that he has yet to spent a night at the government house. The report states that with each end of day, he will drive himself home, even when he works late into the night, he will still drive home to Talata Mafara. Against the advice of many of the governor’s close associates, who pleaded with him to relocate into the governor’s house, he refused. And on Tuesday night as the governor drove home, the bottom of the bucket dropped when he decided to meet his girlfriend. For the fear of Sharia, the lovebirds opted to meet inside the governor’s vehicle.
The development comes as alarming to the observers of the political currents in Northern Nigeria in part due to the intensity with which the Yari administration had launched a determined clampdown on what it deemed moral vices under the dictates of Sharia. The deputy governor was placed in-charge of the Hisbah [Islamic Police] operations in Zamfara – to the extent that he is reported to join the patrol team to patrol the streets on Zamfara at night to make arrests –and to hand the arrested persons to the police to charge to Sharia court the following morning.
One recent arrest which came at the entrance of a hotel premise exhibits the hypocrisy in the Yari led Sharia government, and has raised political eyebrows in quarters around the country. The deputy governor along with his Hisbah patrol team swooped into the entrance of the hotel located in the capital of Zamfara State to arrest 4 men and 3 girls. Their crime was being outdoors by 10pm. The arrested persons were said to have broken Sharia law. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 arrested men were discovered to be men of the Nigerian Police Force [NPF]. The men of Nigeria law enforcement officers are now to face the Sharia court.
Governor Yari had his political beginnings under his mentor the then governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima as a member of the cabinet of the former Governor. During Yerima’s tenure, Yari was thought to have gained money from State contracts awarded under cloudy circumstances. In November 2007, Yari was among Zamfara state officials charged with money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC]. They were charged with conspiring to do an illegal act of money laundering by transferring proceeds derived from illegal acts into the account of I.A.A Motors Nigeria Ltd at Standard Trust Nigeria Plc (now United Bank for Africa Plc) with the aim of concealing their illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2003 and punishable under Section 14 of the same Act. Yari was said to be “at large” during the arraignment.
The governor’s experience at the EFCC appears to have not deterred him from more travails bordering on financial misconduct. This is as 247ureports.com has gathered credible information pointing to reckless spending of Zamfara State resources for private purchases. Within two months following his accession to the top seat [July 2011], the governor borrowed N5billion on behalf of the State for use in the purchase of fertilizers, bales of cloths and vehicles for top aides of the governor – in line with the welfarist governing style adopted by his mentor, Sani Yerima. But the N5billion was not utilized for the purchase of the said items. Within the same short span, the governor was ranked as the top amongst officials who frequent Abuja by chartered airplanes. Between May 29, 2011 and July 15, 2011, official data indicate he chartered the plane 24 times for local trips with Nigeria.
While critics of the governor point to his administration as contradictory more aggrieved critics place the governor behind the cloak of Sharia as a tool he utilizes to deceive the gullible and somewhat uneducated followers in his ‘developing’ State. Calmer critics remain uncertain of the preference of Sharia over Nigerian constitutional law in a State housed in the federal republic of Nigeria becoming a norm. Perhaps as the collective weight of the hypocrisy of governments who have adopted foreign laws to supersede the laws of Nigeria begins to percolate, a natural solution will find its way.