A Kano State high court on Thursday ruled that Kano State House of Assembly lacks power to investigate the $5 million bribery allegation against the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
Delivering the judgement, Justice AT Badamasi said collecting bribe from contractors is a criminal offence in section 115 and 116 of penal code, and the House has no capacity to investigate criminal offences.
He said investigating criminal offence is the function of agencies under executive arms such as police, the EFCC and the ICPC, adding that the DAILY NIGERIAN publisher should should have sent the clips to these agencies.
Mr Badamasi therefore gave an order restraining the House from interview or inviting any person on the bribery allegation against Mr Ganduje as published by the DAILY NIGERIAN newspaper.
“An order of injunction is hereby made preventing the parties from conducting further investigation in respect of the matter,” the judge declared.
Mr Badamasi, who cited similar cases in Kogi and Delta States, therefore, said he also depended on Sections 128 (2) and Section 129 of the constitution, which explain that the state assembly has no right or power to conduct criminal investigation against a governor.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the sitting, counsel to the House of Assembly, Mohammed Waziri, said he would consult his clients whether they want to appeal against the judgement.
In his remarks, the third defendant, who is also the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Muktar, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, noting that the judge had quoted the relevant section of the constitution which says the House has no power to conduct criminal investigation against the governor.
Muhammad Zubair, the national coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, had filed the suit, praying the court to determine the constitutional competence of the state lawmakers to investigate the matter.