Gandujegate: Court Halts Kano Assembly From Probing Governor

A Kano State High Court has halted the State Assembly from probing the State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, over allegations of bribery levelled against him.

Ahmed Badamasi, a judge, who gave the ruling on Thursday said the assembly lacked the power to probe the governor.

Badamasi said the power to investigate criminal charges is vested in the police, Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The judge said the assembly, by constitution, only has the power to make law and review existing law but not the power to investigate criminal matters.

The suit was filed by Muhammad Zubairu, national coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, a pro-democracy group.

Joined as defendants in the suit were Baffa Dangundi, chairman of the investigative panel of the house, and the attorney general of the state.

Nuraini Jimoh, counsel to the plaintiff, applauded the ruling while Muhammad Waziri, the defendant’s lawyer, said he would consult his clients on their next line of action.

The state assembly had set up a seven-man committee to investigate the bribery allegation against Ganduje.

On November 5, the court had ordered the house to suspend the probe while ruling on an ex parte application by Zubair.

But the assembly vowed not to comply with the order.

The chairman of the committee investigating the issue had said the court order did not stop the panel from continuing with the investigation.

However, on November 13, the assembly eventually succumbed to the order, saying the house is a law-abiding arm of government, hence, it would obey the court and suspend all forms of investigation on the case pending the court judgement.

Ganduje was seen allegedly receiving kickbacks from contractors in videos published by an online news portal, Daily Nigerian.

The governor has denied the allegation, saying the video was doctored.

The EFCC has said it was conducting a forensic analysis of the video after admitting it won’t be probing the governor because he enjoys immunity.