The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has filed a criminal case against DAILY NIGERIAN and its publisher, Jaafar Jaafar, for defamation of character.
Earlier today, the newspaper published exclusive video showing Mr Ganduje receiving bribe from a contractor.
The video, which generated public rebuke, has been authenticated by graphic experts before publishing by the newspaper.
In a statement by the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, the government debunked the allegation, saying the video was “cloned” to implicate the governor in the bribery scandal.
“Kano state government has decided to file a criminal case against an online publication Daily Nigerian and its publisher on defamation of character after it released a clone and doctored video footage mischievously portraying Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje involved in an inappropriate conduct,” Mr Garba said.
“The Office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice is challenging the implausible and eccentric posting of the cloned video that went viral in a court of law considering the gravity of the caricature, which indicates the extent to which mischievous elements can go to discredit public figures by wielding non-existent scandals against them.
“A mere observation of the cloned video clearly shows that the video is doctored and disjointed with no material facts or evidance to prove the allegations, other than a callous attempt to tarnish the hard earned image of the office and the person of the Governor.”
Mr Ganduje therefore dismissed allegations of receiving gratification of $5Million or any amount whatsoever from any person or body, describing DAILY NIGERIAN publisher as blackmailer.
“It is important to draw the attention of the general public to the fact that the alleger is a serial blackmailer and extorter. We are also aware that the hidden motive is to reduce the popularity of the Governor and consequently affect the anticipated quantum of APC votes from Kano in the 2019 general elections.
“While the state government is taking the legal action, we wish to assure the good people of Kano that His Excellency will remain focus and continue with laudable programmes that will add value to the lives of the people of Kano State. We also call on the general public, especially members of the APC to remain calm and always be law abiding,” the statement added.
In reaction to the statement, DAILY NIGERIAN said it stands by its story, saying the videos were neither “cloned” nor doctored to blackmail the governor.
The newspaper publisher, Jaafar Jaafar, also said the paper is ready to prove its case before the court.