Dollar bribery video: Kano anti-corruption agency summons Ganduje

THE Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) has summoned former governor Abdullahi Ganduje for interrogation over the controversial dollar bribery video.

Chairman of the Commission, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, had on Wednesday, June 5, declared that, contrary to Ganduje’s claims, the video was not doctored.

Rimingado spoke at a ‘One Day Public Dialogue on Anti-Corruption Crusade’ in Kano.

In a video that went viral in 2017, Ganduje was seen receiving bundles of dollar notes offered as bribe from a contractor and stuffing them in his dress.

Rimingado claimed that since the video’s release, he has come under pressure from all sides to establish the governor’s guilt or innocence.

He explained that because Ganduje was immune from prosecution during his time in office, it had been hard to establish his guilt or innocence since the committee started looking into the issue in 2018.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Lunchtime Politics on Thursday, July 6, Rimingado disclosed that the panel had sent a letter of invitation to the former governor, inviting him to come before it and provide any information necessary for the current investigation.

According to him, the agency adheres to the legal maxim of “innocent until proven guilty” and believes the probe will finally allow the former governor to clear his name in the scandal, and it will apply to the ex-governor as it does to everyone.

“I have signed a letter to invite him for questioning at the Commission next week because this is what the law says, and we will provide ample opportunity for him to defend himself,” he said.

In the meantime, a group known as the Coalition for Northern Civil Society Group has denounced the recent efforts to look into the dollar videos, alleging that they were planned in conjunction with the Kano State government to bring the former governor into disrepute and destroy any chance the ex-governor had of obtaining a position in the Federal Government led by President Bola Tinubu.

Mohammad Shuaibu, the secretary of the Northern group who also made an appearance on the Channels TV programme on Thursday, noted that since the video’s release in 2018, the focus has been solely on the alleged “receiver” and that the “giver” of the alleged bribery has not been made public.

The Daily Nigerian online newspaper Publisher who leaked the video Jafar Jafar insisted that the footage published by the paper was authentic and not manipulated in any way.

He said this during an investigative hearing into the allegations by the Kano State House of Assembly in 2018.

After the video was released, the Kano State government said Ganduje never collected bribes from contractors.

The government also described the video as “cloned”, adding that the governor would explore every legal means in seeking redress.

A few days after the publication of the video clip, Ganduje told reporters that he was not worried about the impact the video may have on him and that he was innocent of the accusations.

Jafar explained that the video was captured by a friend of his who is a contractor with the Kano State government and who had complained that Ganduje receives kickbacks, ranging from 15 to 25 per cent for every project executed in the state.

Despite the viral video showing Ganduje allegedly receiving a bribe from a contractor, a court in December 2019 dismissed a suit by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking to investigate the governor.

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano dismissed the suit filed by a lawyer, Bulama Bukarti, who sought an order from the court to instruct the EFCC to investigate Ganduje.

The court ruled that the EFCC does not have a record of the forensic analysis of the bribery allegations.

Again, recently, Ganduje asked the Kano State High Court to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating him in connection with the incident.

The court was asked to stop the EFCC from scrutinising Ganduje until the outcome of a dispute between the former governor and Jafaar, Publisher of the Daily Nigerian, was known.

In a related development, the Kano Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday, July 4, arrested and detained Ganduje’s commissioner for works and Infrastructure, Idris Wada Saleh and five others over alleged N1 billion fraud.






     

     

    The commissioner was arrested alongside the Permanent Secretary of Public Procurement Bureau, Mustapha Madaki Huguma, and the director of finance, research and planning.

    They were accused of withdrawing about N1 billion for 30 road and drainage rehabilitation projects that were never completed.

    The ICIR reported on June 21 that the Kano State governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, reinstated the state chairman of the Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, whom his predecessor Ganduje sacked. 

    Following his reinstatement, Rimingado promised to revive the dollar bribery investigation against Ganduje.

     

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