House can’t probe Ganduje -Court passes verdict

Issue News

By Nasiru Muhammad

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A Kano State High Court has ruled in favour of the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje that the state House of Assembly has no legal right to investigate an allegation of bribery against the governor.

Giving the judgement yesterday, the presiding judge, Honourable Justice A. T. Badamasi said under the 1999 Constitution, the Assem­bly has no legal backing to investi­gate an allegation of collecting brib­ery by the governor.

He said the Assembly can only investigate crime or ask a competent body like the Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the police, the Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offenc­es) Commission (ICPC) to do the job, and not by forming a seven-man committee as it did.

Meanwhile, Hon. Badamasi has explained that the plaintiff, Bar­rister Muhammad Zubair, did the right thing by going to the court for explanation of the matter.

“That is what is supposed to be done by any well-meaning Nigerian, that any time an individual sees any infringement of the law, he should go to the appropriate body for inter­pretation,” Badamasi added.

It could be recalled that Bar­rister Zubair had earlier filed for interpretation of the law when the State House of Assembly formed a seven-man committee headed by Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi to investigate the allegation of col­lecting the bribe of $5million by Governor Ganduje.

Early last month, Governor Ganduje had appeared before the House Committee investigating the matter where he told members of the Committee that the allega­tion levelled against him was inju­rious, false, designed purposely to tarnish his long established good reputation, reduce his popular­ity for some political opponents to take an advantage in the forthcom­ing general election.

The governor added that the same publisher had sometimes ago did similar allegations against former Governor Malam Ibra­him Shekarau and Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II which were later found to be false.

The governor, who was repre­sented by the State Commissioner of Information, Malam Muham­mad Garba during the House Committee’s sitting for the inves­tigation, categorically denied col­lecting the bribe from contractors as alleged by the medium.

“That His Excellency, the gov­ernor of Kano State did not col­lect, has not collected and will never collect bribe from whoso­ever and for whatever purposes,” he reassured.

However, in the same month, after the court had stopped the Committee from continuing with the investigation, its Chairman, the House Majority Leader, Hon. Baffa Babbb Dan’Agundi held a press briefing revealing that they would respect the court order which urged the House to main­tain the status-quo.

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