Concerned Citizens Of Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency Of Bauchi State, Nigeria.
July 30, 2015
In line with the posture of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the doctrine of change from the old order and the various public statements of the Inspector-General of Police on crime prevention and the need for Nigeria to be a decent society, we forward this petition in our collective resolve to correct some of the ills bedeviling the society most especially in our immediate environment of Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency of Bauchi State where a fraudster is masquerading as an elected member of the Federal House of Representatives.
Despite the on-going crusade by President Muhammadu Buhari to restore the lost glory of Nigeria and fight corrupt practices and other related offences in all facets of our national life, a politician from the APC extraction who was sacked from the National Assembly in 2007 for fraud by the Jos Division Federal Court of Appeal, ‘Honorable’ Salisu Zakari (a.k.a Slow) presided by Justice Alfred P. Eyewumi Awala, has suddenly resurfaced in the National Assembly as the duly elected representative of Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency.
Salisu Zakari was on June 5, 2008 sacked from the National Assembly where he paraded himself as the representative of Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency on the strength of a petition against him by Honorable Abdul Ahmed Ningi, PDP candidate for Ningi/Warji 2007 House of Representatives election.
In the petition that finally nailed Zakari and threw him back to the labor market, Abdul stated that Salisu Zakari was indicted by a Military panel (Regimental) of inquiry on January 6, 1992 and dismissed from the Army by virtue of the Nigeria Army Act, Cap 294 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
That Salisu Zakari was a public servant in the service of Bauchi State Government who did not retire, withdraw or resigned before contesting the said election as stipulated by Law, 30 days before the said 2007 elections contrary to section 66 (1) (F) of the 1999 Constitution (amended) and that by virtue of the provisions of section 34 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2006, ANPP as the political platform Salisu Zakari used was bound to inform INEC of any change of contesting candidate in the election not later than 60 days before the election that was by February 13, 2007 latest.
In part of his judgment, Justice Awala stated that, “I will not end this judgment without commenting on the rationale behind the exclusion provisions in sections 66 (1) © and 66 (1) (F) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and the similar provisions of section 182 (1) (i) to the Office of Governor and 137 (1) in respect of the president.
It is to exclude persons of doubtful or questionable character and people lacking in integrity from elective office and thereby ensure transparency and probity in governance.
“On the whole therefore, I hold that this appeal is meritorious. It is allowed and I make an order directing INEC to issue a Certificate of Return forthwith to Honorable Abdul Ahmed Ningi as the duly elected member of the National Assembly (House of Representatives) for Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency of Bauchi State. The decision of the lower tribunal in petition NAGLH/BA/19/07 is overturned.
The judgment sent Salisu Zakari back home and mistakenly, Governor Isa Yuguda for political ‘stability’ offered him the exalted position of an Honorable Commissioner as compensation which later backfired for incompetence and alleged financial malfeasance. He was reduced to a Special Adviser and later advised to honorably resign or be kicked out. Zakari opted to resign to cover shame. It was later discovered from Yelwan Tudu secondary school, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis where Salisu once served as a classroom teacher that he had a case of sexual scandal with one of his pupils that led to her pregnancy.
As he was booted out from the National Assembly and appointed an Honorable Commissioner in Bauchi state, it became a level ground for him to approach the banks for loan. He operated a Current Account No. 601- 386408 – 110 with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB which he used to obtain a loan facility of N99, 358, 822.36 (ninety nine million, three hunfred and fifty eight thousand, eight hundred and twenty two naira, thirty six kobo) from its Bauchi branch at the interest rate of 22.5% per annum. The loan facility was obtained vide office letter dated May 11, 2009 and that despite numerous entreaties, Zakari failed and neglected to service and or repay the facility which compelled the financial house to drag him before Honorable Justice Kunaza N. Hamidu of Bauchi High Court 5 on July 31, 2013 for possible repay.
Delivering judgment, Justice Kunaza said, “That Salisu Zakari should liquidate the said N99, 358, 822.36 being the principal sum of the loan facility (restructured) granted to him by GTB on his request and that he should also pay the sum of N45, 304, 915.40 as interest accrued on the facility at 22% interest from May 11, 2009 when it was granted until the date of judgment, and thereafter 10% interest charge on the judgment debt until it is fully liquidated.
The above judgment had therefore declared Salisu Zakari bankrupt and not eligible to contest any elective position until he attains financial solvency through the court.
But in 2015, determined to be in the National Assembly by any means, Salisu deceived his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), INEC and security agencies with falsehood to contest the election which he won through the influence of President Muhammadu Buhari, the personality Salisu had earlier insulted and abused on the podium. He repeated the 2007 drama that gave PDP a cheap victory at the Court of Appeal and ANPP was denied its victory caused by Salisu’s fraud.
Determined to protect and restore the glory of Ningi/Warji Federal Constituency from fraudsters and their collaborators, one Shehu Jamilu from the Federal Constituency had cause to rush to the Federal High in Bauchi to challenge the eligibility of Salisu Zakari to contesting the 2015 Federal House of Representatives Elections based on some of the reasons that featured at the Federal Appeal Court that nailed Salisu Zakari and still stands. The case is on-going in the Federal High Court, Bauchi.
In Bauchi State Magistrate Court 3, Bauchi, the same Salisu Zakari who as a politician that is expected to lead by example and protect the interest of the people, he is presently standing trial for a case of criminal intimation and threat to life. In his characteristic style of doing things, he maintains a horde of miscreants to deal with perceived and identified opponents. It was also alleged that he was instrumental to the death of several opponents through the use of his gang of ‘criminals’ in Ningi and Bauchi that he maintains with loans from banks.
In its effort to have its money back with accrued interest, Unity Bank has also dragged Salisu Zakari to Bauchi High Court 4 seeking for repay of over N100million he collected on request as loan. As the case was mentioned penultimate Thursday, Salisu who was conspicuously absent in court complained of being ‘sick’ and the Honorable Judge on compassionate ground adjourned the case to allow Salisu ‘treatment’.
Having enumerated some of the celebrated cases involving ‘Honorable’ Salisu Zakari apart from his dismissal for financial malfeasance in Nigeria Agricultural and Cooperative Bank, NACB and the case of swindling over N45million entrusted Bauchi state contingents allowances to KADA in 2009, in his INEC FORM C.F 001 of Affidavit in support of personal particulars of persons seeking election to the office/membership…….in 2015 as submitted and stamped Certified True Copy by Ibrahim K. Bawa Esq for INEC dated March 11, 2015, Salisu fraudulent misled the Electoral body to believing falsehood as contained in section E. General of the Form by stating that he was never sentenced to any offence of dishonesty or fraud or any offence imposed by a Court or Tribunal. Forgetting that, the Jos Federal Appeal Court had found him guilty of fraud for collecting illegal salaries from Bauchi State Government while contesting an election in 2007 and formed part of his sack from the National Assembly apart from his case of deserting the Army and his subsequent dismissal.
According to the letter from the Nigerian Army Military Police Headquarters, 1 Division Provost Group, 1 Division Nigerian Army Dalot Barracks, Kawo, Kaduna dated June 12, 2007 signed by the Commander, Colonel A.S Shinga, 79/NA/26450 Lcpl Salisu Zakari was enlisted into the Nigerian Army on November 11, 1987 and aged 20 years as of 1987.
That the soldier left his place of duty without official, leave (AWOL) while serving in 1 Provost Company, Kaduna on November 8, 1991. A Board of inquiry was constituted and his name was stroke off strength which implies the soldier deserter. This was not stated in his INEC form for deceit.
Again, in 1987 according to the letter from the Nigerian Army, Salisu Zakari enlisted at the age of 20 if properly calculated from 1987 to 2015 Salisu Zakari shoud be 48 years old or thereabout. But in his INEC FORM, he declared on oath that he was born on April 4, 1969 which implies he is 46 years old. This is another glaring case of falsehood that should not be ignored for the society to regain its lost glory .
Another case of falsehood discovered in his submitted FORM to INEC is where he vehemently refused to state that he once worked with Nigeria Agricultural and Cooperative Bank, NACB where he was dismissed for fraud. Instead, he stated that his first place of work was Bauchi State Ministry of Education in 2001. Fraudulently, he also refused to state that from 2007 – 2008, he was a Member of the Federal House of Representatives that was to avoid any further enquiry from INEC that could lead to his timely disqualification from the contest. He instead stated that from 2008 – 2010 he was in the employment of Bauchi State Government when he served as an Honorable Commissioner and never stated correctly why he left. At first, from his form, he had wanted to state that he was dropped from Commissionership to Special Adviser on Tourism in a cabinet reshufflement, but he quickly smelt a rat and canceled the obvious to maintain falsehood and deceit.
Although, his victory at the election is not the issue at stake but his eligibility to even contest the election is the crux of the matter that is now a subject of discourse within and outside the Federal Constituency most especially as his hatred for President Buhari is known to all.
Reacting to the fraud, a member of Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Musa Abas, who contested the election along with Salisu said, “APC was deceived with fake documents to have allowed Salisu Zakari to contest the election. He was sacked from the National Assembly in 2008 and still the APC allowed him to contest on its platform. There must be something wrong somewhere”, he said
Jamilu Shehu, a retired immigration officer and political activist from Ningi opined that, “Salisu is a huge disgrace to the youths. He has brought shame and ridicule to Ningi/Warji federal constituency. He is a school dropout, a fraudster who falsified documents to contest an election. He is proud to be a fraudster and a miscreant. Commercial Banks and other financial houses should be watchful while dealing with the guy. They should learn from what happened with GTB and Unity Bank
“We are making desperate efforts to chase him out of the national assembly to restore the lost glory of our federal constituency”, he said.
Meanwhile, concerned citizens of the area have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police to cause an in-depth investigation into the fraudulent actions of the ‘Honorable’ member