Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano High Court, yesterday, ordered the Kano State House of Assembly to stop investigating the alleged bribery scandal against the governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was captured in a video receiving bribe from a contractor.
This followed a legal action taken by some pro-democracy lawyers group called Lawyers For Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria that seek for an interim injunction from the court.
Respondents in the case include Kano House of Assembly, Hon Baffa Babba Dan-Agundi for members of the investigation committee and the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, Mr. Ibrahim Mukhtar.
The state Assembly ad-hoc committee has slated on November 6 2018 for watching the video clips in its process of investigation.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Kano NUJ press centre, the group’s coordinator Barrister Muhammad Zubairu explained that the Assembly has no legal right to investigate the case because it is a criminal case that is supposed to be taken to court.
He further explained that the group had called the attention of the Assembly on October 23 but it still went further to call Jaafar Jaafar, the publisher of the Daily Nigerian that releases the video clips.
He said the group excused the Assembly because the sitting took place on October 25 shortly after they warned them against it.
But to their dismay the Assembly went further to invite the State Governor for investigation and slated 6th of November to watch the video clips for which the group acted.
The injunction issued is called a status quo ante which renders the committee and what it had done so far null and void.
Responding on what action the group will take if the Assembly refuses to abide by the order, Zubairu said they would sue the Assembly for contempt of court.
The state House of Assembly, under the leadership of Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, constituted a committee on October 15 to establish the authenticity of the videos.
An online newspaper, DAILY NIGERIAN had on October 14 and 15 exclusively published two videos, showing Ganduje allegedly receiving bribe in dollars.
Consequently, the publisher/editor-in-chief of DAILY NIGERIAN, Jaafar Jaafar testified before the committee on October 15 where he insisted that the videos were genuine.
Last week Friday, Governor Ganduje had denied collecting bribe from any contractor.
Testifying before the house, Ganduje said the allegation labeled against him were injurious.
Ganduje said the video clips released by the publisher of Daily Nigerian was aimed at tarnishing his image politically.
The Commissioner of Information, while reading out the written response to the Committee, said, “I have the instruction of His Excellency, the Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (OFR) to write as follows:
“That His Excellency, the Governor of Kano state categorically and unequivocally denied the allegation of collecting bribe from contractors as alleged by the publisher of the online newspaper, Daily Nigerian.”