Northern Nigerian Breaking News

JUST IN: Kano agency lacks power to investigate Ganduje’s dollar video- Court rules

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has ruled that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission lacks the power to investigate former governor, Abdullahi Ganduje’s dollar bribery video case.

SOLACEBASE reports that Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman delivered the judgement on Tuesday in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Ganduje against the commission.

Ganduje had instituted the case in July 2023 seeking protection of his fundamental rights against possible breach and violation when the commission’s chairman Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado invited him to appear and answer questions bordering on the dollar bribery video.

The court had granted a restraining order from inviting or investigating Ganduje until final determination of the suit.

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An online medium, Daily Nigerian in 2018 when Ganduje was governor published a viral video, showing him receiving bundles of dollars from a contractor.

But Ganduje denied the accusation saying the video was doctored.

Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission employed the services of a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, to defend its course of action.

The commission contended before Justice Liman that it had commenced investigation into the bribery video in 2018 following a petition but could not complete its investigation because Ganduje enjoyed immunity at the time.

Ganduje had, in his affidavit, argued that he was an eminent politician and former governor of Kano State whose successor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, on the day he was sworn in, accused of stealing public funds and awarding landed property to himself (Ganduje) and vowed to reclaim same.

He said contrary to the accusation, he had not stolen money nor appropriated landed property to himself or cronies.

Justice Liman after consideration of the issues for determination held that the offence allegedly committed by the applicant and being investigated by the commission was a federal offence.

The judge held that a federal offence is any act made illegal by a legislation passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by the president.

Justice Liman held that the commission therefore lacked the power to invite Ganduje for the alleged offences that ought to have been investigated by federal agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He also held that the APC national chairman was entitled to right to dignity of human person, right to private and family life and right to acquire and own property.

Counsel for the PCACC, Usman Fari, expressed reservation that it took long before the court delivered its judgement in the case initiated since July last year, saying he had already got the nod of his client to appeal the judgement.

Counsel for Ganduje, Matthew Burkaa (SAN), said the court interpreted the law as it is, adding that the judgement of the court vindicated his position that the commission cannot investigate his client on a legislation that is federal.

The court awarded no cost to the parties in the matter.


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