Ibrahim Saminu Turaki

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Ibrahim Saminu Turaki
ConstituencyJigawa North West
Governor of Jigawa State
In office
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
Preceded byAbubakar Maimalari
Succeeded bySule Lamido
Senator Jigawa North West
In office
29 May 2007 – May 2011
Preceded byDalha Ahmed Danzomo
Succeeded byDanladi Abdullahi Sankara
Personal details
Born14 July 1963
Political partyAll Progressives Congress (APC)
ProfessionPolitician

Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki is a Nigerian politician and former governor of Jigawa State in Nigeria. He was a Jigawa state chairman of SDP (Social Democratic Party) and UNCP (United Nigeria Congress Party).[1]

Background[edit]

Ibrahim Saminu Turaki was born on 14 July 1963, he attended the Federal Government College Kaduna and the Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science in 1985.[2]

Jigawa governor[edit]

Jigawa State, Nigeria

He was governor of Jigawa State in Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007, he was elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 on the platform of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP).[1] In 2000, Turaki decentralized the Jigawa state government, allocating many aspects to the five Emirate councils of Hadejia, Dutse, Gumel, Ringim and Kazaure.[3]

Turaki championed the development of ICT stressing the importance in nation building and that was largely one of his priorities as a governor, he established what was known as the biggest biotechnology centers in Nigeria then in Kazaure, a town situated outside the state capital, Dutse. Some of these attracted the number one British developmental agency, DFID to co-fund the Jigawa State microcredit scheme to provide funding for small scale businesses; the DFID also partnered with the then state government to sponsor its student for extensive education on informatics abroad, mostly Japan.

In year 2000, Turaki established a free trade zone in Jigawa, the first to be achieved by any state, to boost the ease of doing business and attract prospective investors. Taking cognizance of the importance of electricity in the success of any form of development, Turaki established various solar powered power plants of up to 7.5 MW at various Local Government Areas at a time most state governments and indeed the Federal Government has not even mulled the idea investing in renewable energy sources. This prompted the CNN to feature Jigawa State in its programme 'Global Challenges' acknowledging the governor's developmental strides and the effects on the lives of the Jigawa citizens; the short documentary was aired on November 25, 2006 and earned Turaki accolades from his peers in Nigeria and around the world.

Jigawa state pioneered the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) to ensure compulsory basic education for pupils and students in the state which was later adopted by the then federal government; the state became the first to introduce the contributory pensions scheme in 2001 long before Lagos State in 2004 and subsequently the Federal government in 2006. During this same era, Jigawa State introduced the first housing mortgage by any state of the federation with the establishment of Jigawa Savings and Loans bank to cover mortgage for intending house owners thereby drastically tackling the problem of housing in the state; some of these laudable feats earned the state the label 'Jigawa, a State of Firsts'

In September 2006, Ibrahim Turaki was attacked by angry crowds when he tried to calm down a mob who burned churches and shops belonging to Christians after an alleged blasphemous statement by a Christian woman about the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.[4]

In December 2006 he transferred his allegiance to the People's Democratic Party (PDP).[5] Turaki joined Nigeria's ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in December 2015, reuniting with his former ally and the current governor of Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar

Senator[edit]

In April 2007, he ran for the Senate as a member of the PDP and was elected for the Jigawa North West constituency, he was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Sports, Navy, National Planning and National Identity Card & Population[1] As senator, a May 2009 report said he had not originated any bills, but had co-sponsored six motions, he was active in the Sports Committee where he is Vice Chairman.[6] Turaki wanted to run for reelection in April 2011, but the PDP favored Danladi Abdullahi Sankara, PDP vice chairman in charge of the Northwest as their candidate. Turaki therefore defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria.[7] In the April 2011 elections, Danladi was the winner. Turaki declared that there had been vote-rigging and he intended to take the case to court.[8]

Alleged financial irregularities[edit]

In June 2003 Ibrahim Turaki said Jigawa had entered into agreements with American companies to start processing and exporting high-grade gum arabic to the United States, replacing imports from the Sudan.[9] An article in the Los Angeles Times on 2 March 2004 described an arrangement with Rosa Whitaker, a US Trade Representative for Africa, with whom he formed a Trade and Investment Foundation for Africa to attract Foreign Direct Investment for gum arabic production.[10][11]

In 2004 the Niger Republic, which was due to host a summit of Francophone countries in Niamey gave Wallong Camco Nigeria, a company in which Turaki had an interest, free land in exchange for building 86 housing units to accommodate visiting foreign dignitaries. In November 2008 Turaki was involved in a dispute over contract terms for sale of these units.[12]

A 2006 report said he was involved in acquiring companies in Nigeria’s insurance industry for president Olusegun Obasanjo.[13]

In July 2007 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Saminu Turaki over allegations of corruption and money laundering.[14] Turaki faced a 32-count charge of money laundering, and was said to have laundered about N36 billion of public funds into private accounts,[15] he was released on bail with stringent conditions.[16]

On July 4, 2017, Turaki was re arrested by the EFCC while in a public function in Nigeria's capital Abuja riding on a 2013 court document ordering his arrest for evading court summons. Turaki denied ever evading trial and accused the anti graft agency of misleading the Judge in granting such order, he also denied being on the run or evading arrest from the time the order was granted four years ago since he has attended well publicized official, social and business functions around Nigeria and beyond. Upon this premise, Turaki was detained by the EFCC for about 14 days without any charge; this prompted the former governor to institute a fundamental human right suit against the anti graft agency. He prayed the court to commit the head of the agency to prison for denying him his freedom even after he was granted bail by the law court. Turaki was released on bail on the 27th of July with the commencement of his trial slated for 19 September 2017.

The case borders mostly on concealment of the actual nature and use of some certain funds during his period as governor. Turaki denied any wrongdoing and has maintained that the case instituted against him was politically motivated, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sen. Ibrahim S. Turaki". National Assembly of Nigeria. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  2. ^ "Saminu Turaki's Weird Kites". ChatAfrik. 06/1/2008. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2009-10-04. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Lamido: Great expectations, many problems". The Source Magazine. June 18, 2007. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  4. ^ Gilbert da Costa (21 September 2006). "Angry Muslims Burn Churches in Nigeria". Voice of America. Retrieved 2009-10-04.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Nigeria Politics & Security" (PDF). Menas. 29 December 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  6. ^ "An Improved Senate, But Some Uninspiring Senators..." This Day. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  7. ^ Adamu Amadu (18 May 2011). "Lamido/Turaki: From politics to court". Nigerian Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  8. ^ TED ODOGWU (26 April 2011). "Allegation of rigging against me frivolous, says Senator-elect". Nigerian Compass. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  9. ^ "Nigeria, US sign gum arabic export agreement". Xinhua News Agency Article. June 13, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-04.[dead link]
  10. ^ "TURAKI WANTED THE WORLD TO KNOW JIGAWA". Nigeriaworld. July 24, 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  11. ^ Ken Silverstein (March 2, 2004). "Connections Work for Ex-Trade Official". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  12. ^ "Senator Turaki Faces Legal Action in Niger Republic - Over 86 Housing Units". Daily Trust. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  13. ^ Jonathan Elendu (20 October 2006). "Obasanjo and the Nigerian Insurance Industry". Elendu Reports. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  14. ^ "Orji Uzor Kalu, Saminu Turaki Arrested by EFCC". My Naija News. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  15. ^ "Kalu, Turaki know fate June 12, 19". Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  16. ^ Josephine Lohor (08.07.2007). "FG: EFCC can't prosecute •AG assumes constitutional powers •Falana, Gani disagree". This Day. Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2009-10-04. Check date values in: |date= (help)