DOCUMENTS: Ganduje’s suspicious withdrawal of N233m raises concern over vote buying

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State

The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has withdrawn the sum of N233.5 million allegedly for vote buying ahead of the gubernatorial supplementary election in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on Monday night declared the  governorship election of the state inconclusive.

The commission on Tuesday fixed March 23 for the re-run election in Kano and other places across Nigeria.

Inside sources who leaked the documents to DAILY NIGERIAN said the state government, through Ministry for Local Government withdrew the money purposely to buy votes for the by-election which would be conducted at 22 Local Government areas of the state.

DAILY NIGERIAN obtained the documents, which contained a reference letter and the list of 13 local government council accounts where the money would be credited.

The letter, dated March 12, jointly signed by by the Director Local Government Inspection and Permanent Secretary of the ministry for Local Government, directed the manager of Unity Bank Plc, Kano office to debit the money.

This newspaper observed that Kabo Local Government, the hometown of the state’s Commissioner for Local Government, Murtala Garo, got the highest share of the money to the tune of N24 million.

The source further said “the money was meant for buying votes ahead of the forthcoming re-run election. You know governor Ganduje is tightening his belt and ready to spend a lot in order to win this election. This is why this amount was withdrawn in order to buy votes.”

When contacted for comment, Mr Garo neither picked our correspondent’s call nor replied the text message sent to him seeking clarification on the matter.

On Tuesday, some persons were arrested in Gama Ward of Nassarawa Local Government Area of the state buying Permanent Voter’s Card, PVCs.

Gama Ward election was among the 172 polling area elections cancelled by INEC in the state due to violence or over voting.

According to a security source, the suspects have confirmed to be agents of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and they were buying up the PVCs ahead of the upcoming supplementary election.