The Kano State government has mobilized over 3,000 thugs from 44 local government areas of the state to create chaos and scuttle the scheduled appearance before Kano State House of Assembly.
DAILY NIGERIAN had published verified videos clips showing the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving bribe from a contractor.
Although the state government had described the footages as “cloned” and threatened legal action against the publisher and the medium.
On October 18, the assembly invited DAILY NIGERIAN and its publisher, Jaafar Jaafar, to appear before its seven-man investigative panel to answer questions regarding the authenticity of the video clips published by the newspaper.
DAILY NIGERIAN lawyers had already written to the police, State Security Service, SSS, seeking adequate security “before, during and after” the investigative hearing on Thursday.
Amnesty International had also written to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the state police commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, requesting security cover for the publisher before, during and after the event, but the agency is yet to receive the IGP’s reply.
But credible security sources said the Kano State Commissioner of Police, who is doing the governor’s bidding, had given nod for the state government to mobilise thugs to create chaos.
“Thugs have already been mobilised to attack you or scuttle the hearing. On normal circumstance, the CP should not have allowed them to.
“The CP is complicit. That is just the truth of the matter,” a security source told Mr Jaafar on Wednesday.
Top government officials who had also pleaded with DAILY NIGERIAN publisher not to appear before the panel “in order to put the matter to rest”.
“If we allow you to appear before the panel, we know you will convince everybody that the clips are original.
“We are managing the situation now, but your testimony will deteriorate the situation.
“I am telling you in confidence that the government will not allow you to come.
“All of us here in government, even members of the House of Assembly, know that the video clips genuine, but we have to defend the government,” said a top government official who spoke in confidence with DAILY NIGERIAN publisher.
The spokesman for Kano Police Command, Magaji Majia, however, said “adequate security arrangement” would be made, saying he was not aware of the government’s plan to mobilise the thugs.
Director-General, Media Affairs to the governor, Aminu Yassar, denied the alleged plan to mobilise the thugs, saying the government respects the independence of the Legislature and would not scuttle the democratic process.
Recall that on Monday, October 15, the Kano House of Assembly opened probe on the bribe-taking videos of the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, published by DAILY NIGERIAN.
Raising a matter of urgent public importance on Monday, a member representing Warawa Constituency, Labaran Madari, said the assembly should investigate the authenticity of the video and take measures.
Mr Madari said the videos had brought the institution of governance in the state to disrepute, and therefore the need for the legislators to take urgent action.
The matter was seconded by Rabiu Panisau, a member representing Kumbotso constituency.
Responding, the speaker, Alhassan Rurum, constituted a seven-man committee to investigate the matter and report back to the assembly.
Members of the committee include Baffa Dan’Agundi (Kano Municipal) as chairman; Labaran Madari (Warawa) member; Garba Gafasa (Ajingi), member; and Zubairu Masu, (Sumaila) member.
Others are Ayuba Labaran (Kabo) member; Abubakar Galadima (Bebeji), member; Garba Yau Gwarmai (Kunchi/Tsanyawa), member and; Mujtafa Amin, secretary.
Inside sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that the assembly is planning to serve the governor impeachment notice as soon as the committee submits its report.
“This is a serious matter that should not be swept under the carpet. We did preliminary investigation and found out the videos are genuine. The committee is just mere formality,” said a member who preferred anonymity.
“The governor confessed to some of us that it was real but he is now trying to stop us from exercising our constitutional duty.”
Mr Ganduje has appeared in a trove of video clips receiving bribe, amounting to about $5million from contractors in the state.
Multiple contractors who spoke with DAILY NIGERIAN on the condition of anonymity said the governor personally receives from 15 to 25 percent kickbacks for every project executed in the state.
The sting operation to capture the governor on camera began two years ago when one of the contractors agreed with DAILY NIGERIAN request to plant spy camera on his kaftan lapel while offering the bribe.
During about 10 months efforts to capture the bribe giving/taking scenes, the governor’s face and body were clearly captured in nine clips, while six others did not clearly reveal the governor’s face. About $5m dollars were delivered to the governor during the sting operation.
One of the contractors who preferred not to be named said the reason he collaborated with DAILY NIGERIAN was to expose corruption and bring sanity to the country.