Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, failed to appear before the committee constituted by the state’s House of Assembly to investigate alleged $5m bribery allegation.
Rather than appear before the committee, Ganduje sent the state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba.
Addressing the panel after submitting a written statement to the Chairman of the committee, Bappa Dan’agundi, Garba said the bribery allegation was damaging to his personality.
“His Excellency has categorically and unapologetically denied collection of bribe as alleged by Daily Nigerian. His Excellency has not collected and will never collect bribe. The allegation is injurious and damaging to his personality,” the Commissioner said.
He advised the committee to exercise caution in handling the allegation, in view of antecedents of the Daily Nigerian’s publisher for publishing similar allegations against former Governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau, and Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi ll.
“We were able to read the invitation extended to His Excellency. After analysing the content of the letter critically we were able to identify three options. Either His Excellency responds in writing, sends representative or appears himself.
“Because of (the) high respect His Excellency has (for) the committee and the assembly, he opted for the second option. That is why I am here to represent him,” Garba told the panel.
About four videos are online, allegedly showing the Governor receiving dollar bills believed to be bribe, from contractors.
In his remarks, the Attorney General of Kano State and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar, commended the committee for being just and fair to the accused and accuser.
“The way the invitation to the Governor was crafted, shows fairness by providing multiple options to His Excellency either to appear himself, send representative or (a) written statement,” Mukhtar said.
The counsel to Mr Ganduje, Ma’aruf Yakasai, said his client has the option to sue the publisher for defamation but opted to honour and allow the house to handle the matter.
The Chairman of the committee, Bappa Dan’agundi, said the committee will invite graphic experts to watch the video clips on Tuesday, along with lawyers of Messrs Ganduje and Jaafar at an undisclosed location.
He assured to be just and fair to the parties involved.