The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) has extended an invitation to former governor Abdullahi Ganduje, requesting his presence to address the allegations surrounding the videos that purportedly show him receiving dollar bribes.
While serving as governor, Mr. Ganduje was recorded in a video accepting dollar bills from a contractor and discreetly storing them within his garments. The commission’s chairman, Muhuyi Rimingado, confirmed the summons during a press briefing in Kano on Thursday.
Mr. Rimingado stated that the commission anticipates Mr. Ganduje’s appearance next week, granting him an opportunity to provide clarification and exonerate himself in the ongoing investigation.
“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.
“There is what the law provides; the law is coercive in nature, it compels obedience. The law doesn’t lobby you to come and do certain things.
“There are procedures and we will follow all the necessary steps to do what is needful,” he assured.
In response to the accusation made by the Coalition for Northern Civil Society Groups, claiming that the initiation of the investigation by the PCACC was an attempt to ridicule the former governor and prevent him from obtaining a federal appointment, the chairman of the commission provided a concise statement.
He remarked, “The fact speaks for itself.”
Mr. Rimingado further explained that the commission had expressed its intention to investigate the matter ever since the video surfaced in 2018. However, due to the governor’s immunity at that time, the commission’s authority was restricted by legal limitations concerning the actions it could take regarding the investigation.
“This is why on my return as the chairman few weeks ago and the fact that the former governor no longer enjoys immunity, we decided to reopen the investigation
and give the former governor the opportunity to clear himself or otherwise.
”Moreso, as the videos have continued to cause the state and citizens of the state ridicule across the globe,” Rimingado said.
The PCACC chairman appealed to the citizens of the state, urging anyone with valuable information that could contribute to the investigation to step forward. He assured them that such information would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
Furthermore, Mr. Rimingado called upon the residents of the state and civil society organizations to support the commission in its efforts to eradicate corruption within the state. He encouraged them to provide necessary information regarding any instances of corrupt practices, assuring them that the commission would ensure justice prevailed, regardless of the individuals involved.
In another development, the Kano State Government has formally requested the withdrawal of a lawsuit previously filed before the Federal High Court in Kano against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The lawsuit sought to prevent the EFCC from investigating Mr. Ganduje in relation to the bribery video.
The state’s Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Haruna Dederi, initiated this latest action.
The application filed with the court communicated the government’s decision not to impede the EFCC from inviting, investigating, or questioning the former Executive Chairman and Director of Finance of SUBEB, as well as the Accountant General of Kano State, regarding the bribery video.
The notice of discontinuance was submitted by the Solicitor General of the Kano State Ministry of Justice, Amina Yargaya, pursuant to Order 50 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019, as amended.
It is worth noting that the ministry, under the previous Attorney General, had granted authorization to Sanusi Musa, a lawyer from Aliyu & Musa Legal Practitioner, to initiate the case. However, the ministry, under the current Attorney General, has since revoked the engagement of the said lawyer to handle the case.
A letter signed by Mr Dederi, dated 4 July, and addressed to Sanusi Musa, stated thus:
“We write to notify you that Kano State Government and the Attorney General of Kano State wish to debrief you of the earlier instructions, given to you to handle the case NO: FHC/KN/71/2023 BETWEEN ATTORNEY GENERAL OF KANO STATE AND ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC).
“You and your team members are therefore instructed not to take any further steps on the matter, either by appearing in court or filing any processes in respect of the case.”
Additionally, it is worth noting that the Federal High Court had previously issued an injunction, preventing the defendant (EFCC) from proceeding with any actions related to the invitation, interrogation, and investigation of the accused individuals mentioned, concerning the video evidence of bribery allegations against Mr. Ganduje.
At this time, no specific date has been scheduled for the hearing regarding the notice of withdrawal of the application.