By Ankeli Emmanuel (In Sokoto State)
Justice Muhammad Dogon Daji of the Sokoto State High Court 111 has adjourned till 20th October 2021, ruling on the substantive matter in the case filed against Sokoto State Government by one Sani Muhammad and Co, for refusing to pay his agreed 20 percent of the N8.8 billion he allegedly recovered for them.
The case filed by Sani Muhammad and Co on November 19, 2020, in a suit no, SS/ 618/2020, seeks to compel Sokoto State Government to fulfill its part of an agreement with his firm wherein a 20 percent of whatever was recovered from a comprehensive audit taxes of all federal government MDAs in Sokoto State will be paid to the accounting firm.
Recall that a letter of appointment duly signed by the then Sokoto State Commissioner for Finance, Saidu Umar and dated July 19, 2017, contracting Sani Muhammad and Co to carry out an audit tax of all federal government MDAs in Sokoto, also stated that a 20 percent of the recovered fund will be paid to his firm.
"Part of the appointment letter reads,, "Your consideration fee will be 20% of any amount recovered or generated through your efforts, while the State has approved a commitment fee as requested in your proposal".
After a painstaking audit of all the federal MDAs in Sokoto, Sani Muhammad and Co recovered eight billion, eight hundred million nairas (8.8bn) from the federal MDAs which was paid into the State Government account in March 2019. Paying his agreed entitlement, however, became problematic.
By the recovery of the N8.8bn, Sani Muhammad & Co's 20 percent, as agreed, was supposed to be one billion, seven hundred and sixty million naira only (1,760 000,000.00
Regrettably, however, the Sokoto State government refused to keep its side of the agreement as only fifty million naira (50,000,000.00) was paid to the Chartered accountant
After series of appeals for his payment and to no avail, Sani Muhammad & Co wrote a final reminder to the State government on September 4, 2019. The State government, however, through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Suleiman Usman SAN, opted for an out-of-court settlement which the plaintiff consented to.
Presiding over the case that has suffered series of adjournments, Justice Muhammad Dogon Daji, at the last sitting, awarded a hundred thousand naira (100,000.00) against the Sokoto State government (respondent) before adjourning to September 16, 2021, for a definite hearing. Though, the money wasn't paid as noted by counsel to the plaintiff. The case was adjourned, once again, to October 20, 2021. NNL.