By Abdulmumin Giwa
Following the invitation of the of the Kano state governor Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje on Friday to a public hearing before the ad hoc committee set up by the Kano State House of Assembly KNHA to investigate the authenticity of video clips showing him allegedly collecting bribe from contractors to the tune of $5m, the state’s commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba sat in for the governor.
The commissioner came with a written statement which he said he was instructed by governor Ganduje to write and present to the committee of investigation on his behalf.
The information commissioner read the statement before the committee, part of which reads as follows: “That his excellency the governor of Kano state categorically and unequivocally denied the allegation of collecting bribe from contractors as alleged by the publisher of the online newspaper Daily Nigerian.
“That his excellency the governor of Kano state did not collect, has not collected and will never collect bribe from anybody whosoever and for whatever purposes.
“That the allegation leveled against him is injurious falsehood designed purposely to tarnish his long established good reputation, reduce his popularity for some political opponents to take undue advantage in the forthcoming general election.
“That caution should be exercised in handling this allegations putting into consideration the antecedents of the accuser on similar accusations against leaders and ruler in the state, particularly the allegation made against the former governor Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, and the Sarkin Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II which turned out to be false accusations ”.
The commissioner was not asked any questions by the committee and was simply asked to hand over the written statement.
Hon Bappa Babba Dan-Agundu, the chairman of the ad hoc committee invited the state’s Attorney General Mukhtar Ibrahim to address the committee for which the AG called for caution in the way and manner the media is reporting activities of the committee in order not to mislead the public. He further expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the committee which he said will be fair to all parties.
In his submission, the personal counsel to the state governor, Faruk Muhammad Yakasai argued that his client has options under the constitution to attend or not to attend the hearing in his position as the state governor. He counseled journalists to abide by the ethics of the profession. He said his client has the choice of filling a case of deformation of character against the accuser but he chose not to.
Dan Agundi promised that the committee will do its work diligently without fear or favor and will be fair to all parties involved.
It would be recalled that in the last sitting of the committee the publisher of the Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar that published the video clips was drilled by the committee where he vowed never to reveal the source of the video clips but testified to the genuineness of the clips.
Also present at the sitting was the former president of the Nigerian Bar Association NBA Barr A. B. Mahmoud SAN.