THE African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the video clips purportedly showing the Governor of Kano State, Umar Ganduje, receiving bribes from contractors.
Coordinator of AFRICMIL, Chido Onumah, made the call via a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, saying that the video evidence was “too glaring to ignore.”
An online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, had alleged that Ganduje collected over $5 million from contractors working for the state government. The paper backed the allegation up with a series of videos on the social media.
“The allegations are weighty. The videos we have seen further lend credence to the accusation and have made the affair too serious to ignore,” Onumah said.
He stressed that the anti-corruption agencies “should rise to the occasion by going to the root of this issue and possibly document evidence for the eventual prosecution of all those found culpable”.
“We are aware that the hands of the anti-corruption agencies are somehow tied by constitutional immunity enjoyed by Mr. Ganduje. This, however, does not stop them from conducting preliminary investigations into the matter,” he noted.
Onumah said that there is nothing in section 308 of the Nigerian constitution that stops the anti-corruption agencies from interrogating Mr. Ganduje in the process of the investigation.
“Cases like this serve as litmus tests for the operational independence of our anti-corruption agencies and political will of the government,” Onumah stated further.
“ICPC and EFCC must thoroughly investigate these videos which have become a national embarrassment and prepare ahead for eventual prosecution of Gov. Ganduje if he is found culpable.”
The Kano State House of Assembly had set up a panel to investigate the allegations against Ganduje, but the governor failed to appear before the panel on Friday, sending his commissioner for information instead.
Jafar Jafar, the publisher of Daily Nigerian has since testified before the committee, narrating how an aggrieved contractor agreed to plant clandestine cameras on his kaftan to be able to get the video evidence of Ganduje collecting the bribes.