16 October 2018

Nigeria: Bribery Videos - Kano Assembly Sets Up Investigative Committee

Photo: Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

Kano — Kano State House of Assembly has set up a 7-man investigative committee to ascertain the authenticity of the video clips that portrayed Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje allegedly collecting bribe in foreign currency from a contractor.

The decision followed a matter of urgent public importance raised by Labara Madari (Warawa Constituency) urging the lawmakers to investigate the authenticity or otherwise of the videos.

The assembly constituted the committee headed by its Majority Leader, Baffa Babba Dan-Agundi, during its plenary yesterday.

Other members of the committee include Labaran Madari, Chief Whip Zubairu Massu, Garba Ya'u Gwarmai, Abdulaziz Garba Gafasa and Abubakar Uba Galadima. Mujitaba Aminu would serve as the secretary of the committee.

The Speaker Kabiru Rurum urged the committee to investigate the matter and submit its reports to the assembly within one month.

Chairman of the committee Dan-Agundi said "We are to ascertain the authenticity of the clips, its sources and find out the identity of the giver. If it is found to be true then we will report to the house and the house will take the next line of action; and if found to be otherwise then we will direct Kano State government to sue the medium and publisher respectively.

"For now, we have stopped Kano State government from taking any legal action pending the outcome of the findings of our committee to avoid complicating the whole issue."

He said the committee had swung into action and would not leave any stone unturned in the course of its investigation.

Asked whether the investigation will lead to impeachment, a source at the assembly said "It is too early to say."

Daily Trust reports that an online medium, Daily Nigerian, has published three different video clips portraying Governor Ganduje allegedly collecting kickbacks from a contractor, The clips went viral on social media.

"We are determined to do the task put on our heads. We will do our best to come up with authentic findings."

Kano State government had earlier announced its decision to initiate a legal action against the Daily Nigerian and its publisher Jaafar Jaafar for alleged deformation of character of the governor.

A statement by the Kano State Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, had also dismissed the video as cloned.

Efforts to reach the Chairman, Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, for comments proved abortive.

However, a source within the commission and a lawyer, who does not want his name in print, said Section 16 of the commission's act prevents it from conducting any investigation provided the matter is before the assembly, executive council or court of law.

"I am sure even if you reach the chairman this is what he will tell you because Kano State House of Assembly has already taken over and a committee was set up to investigate the matter, so the commission cannot do anything about it for now.

"And going by the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, Daily Nigerian has already discredited the clips for shielding the giver. According to the act the alleged giver must unveil himself, and take an oath that he has given the said amount to the governor. But unfortunately, Daily Nigerian shielded him and that alone has discredited the clips," the source added.

The Daily Nigerian said in its reports that it concealed the identities of the contractors for fear of their safety.

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