State Governor Abba Yusuf demanded on Monday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) make public the findings of its investigation into the video showing Ganduje and the suspected dollar bribe.


Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, who was the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress and the immediate-past governor of Kano State, will be arraigned on bribery charges on April 17 by 9:00 a.m. at the Kano State High Court. This will be presided over by Justice Usman Na’aba in Courtroom 4. With his wife Hafsat, son Umar, and five others, he is facing eight counts of bribery, with the amount ranging between $413,000 and N1.38 billion. The Kano State Government has summoned fifteen witnesses to testify against them. However, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Ltd., Safari Textiles Ltd., and Lesage General Enterprises were also listed as his defendants.


Chief Oliver Okpala, his Senior Special Assistant on Public Enlightenment, maintained that the issue was within the purview of the Federal Government and characterised the action by the Kano government as an afterthought. He said, “I am surprised at the said charge, which is coming like an afterthought. However, I am aware that the Federal High Court sitting in Kano recently gave judgement on the same issue, where it gave exclusive reserve to federal agencies to prosecute such matters after investigation if there is prima facie evidence of committing the offences alleged. I will simply urge those concerned to refer to the said judgement of the Federal High Court and take a cue from it so as to be well guided in their attempt to prosecute, so that public funds will not be dissipated without achieving any success; more so to avoid what will be termed an abuse of court process.”


In the charges, the state government alleged that “you, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, sometime between the period of January 10, 2016 or thereabouts, at Kano in the Kano Judicial Division, while serving as the Governor of Kano State and being a public servant in the government of Kano State, corruptly asked for and received the sum of $200,000 being benefit for yourself from one of the beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Kano State Government on your instruction and approval as part of your function as the Governor of Kano State, thereby committed the offence of official corruption, contrary to and punishable under Section 22 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended), Law No. 2 of 2009, Laws of Kano State of Nigeria.”


In the second count, the state government said Ganduje, on February 10, 2017, “dishonestly and/or corruptly to your own advantage, collected a kick-back of the sum of $213,000, money generated from people and entities seeking or holding the execution of Kano State Government contact and/or project for the remodelling of Kantin Kwari textile market as a bribe through one of the contractors (agent).”


In another count, state alleged that Ganduje, between September 2020 and march 2021, “together with one Hafsat Umar (your spouse) and Abubakar Bawuro, a businessman, Safari Textile Ltd, a limited liability company, wholly owned and maintained by the 3rd defendant, agreed to do an illegal act to wit: dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N1,376,000,000 through account No. 7085982019 belonging to the 3rd defendant being money earmarked and approved for the purchase and supply of face masks and other hospital equipment for the health sector, thereby causing wrongful loss to the people and the government of Kano State and thereby jointly committed the offence of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 96 and punishable under section 97 of The penal code (as amended) CAP,105, Vol.2. The Laws of Kano State of Nigeria, 1991.”

Although the former governor is said to be in Saudi Arabia, his court sitting has been scheduled for April 17, 2024.


By Chidimma NWAFOR

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