A coalition of anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) led by the Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) on Tuesday asked the Federal government to commence an investigation into the alleged $5m bribery taken allegations against the Governor of Kano State, Abdulahi Ganduje.
Video clips of Ganduje’s alleged bribe taking went viral on social media few days ago but the government of Kano State denied the clips saying it was doctored by the detractors of the Governor.
The anti-corruption group said, though it is in no position to affirm the authenticity of the video clips, investigation into the allegations, preparatory to prosecution is the best means of ascertaining the truth.
The coalition also said the investigation should not be limited to government investigation agencies, private investigators should be included in the exercise.
Speaking with journalists Tuesday after a whistle-blowing march to the National Assembly, HEDA’s Coordinator Shina Odugbemi, said it is most important for Nigerians to accepts that corruption will not allow for socio-economic growth the country.
The group also noted that the anti-corruption drive of the government should not be condemned as being one-sided.
Odugbemi said, it is instructive that critics of the government’s anti-corruption drive have not been able to prove the innocence of the accused.
He noted that the reason for the sensitisation march was to urge the National Assembly to expedite action before the expiration of its tenure on five anti-corruption bills before it, so that they can be forwarded to the President for his assent.
“As far as we are concerned, the court does not discriminate, whether by age, sex or faith or status. If it is Governor Ganduje or anybody, if it can be proven and it is not the usual social media stunt, once it is proven, justice should be allowed to take ta course.
“We are in a country where things are not working because our laws are selective, we have different laws for different people.
“As far as Kano state is concerned, our position is that everybody should beam the searchlight on that, so that comprehensive investigation is allowed and should not be left to government agencies alone.
“If found culpable, the Governor should be constitutionally dealt with”.
Scoring the government high on its anti-corruption drive, Odugbemi said, “Whether we agree or not, for raising the voice against corruption alone, to us, it is a first plus.
“In the sanitation of the country, without deceiving ourselves, we all know that we do things selectively and that is why the anti-corruption drive still needs some energy.
“But for anyone to say that because the fight is selected time we should discard it, we will queue behind that. If anything is wrong with this current efforts, those coming behind should core t it and take it higher.
“This is because somebody has been bold enough to stay what certain people are doing is wrong but unfortunately, the logic of those criticising the fight as being selective have not been able to disprove the accusations against the offenders.
“What we are always hearing is that others that have done same thing have not been picked or accused. That will not stand with us.
“Let us all stand against the monumental corruption that has been stalling the development of this country”.
While receiving the group, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara assured all stakeholders in the fight against corruption that the National Assembly will continue to work for the passage of all relevant bills that will give bite to the war against corruption.