Legal Opinion: Can Kano State House of Assembly Investigation the Kano State Governor over the bribery allegation video -By Tohwo Oseruvwoja Esq

Filed under: Political Issues |

*LEGAL OPINION; CAN THE KANO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY INVESTIGATE THE BRIBERY ALLEGATION VIDEO AND ALSO INVITE THE GOVERNOR OF KANO STATE TO APPEAR BEFORE ITS INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE?

**Brief facts in issue*

Sometime in October, 2018, a media organisation known as Daily Nigeria, published on line a video of a man receiving bribe (kick back) from a person purported to be one of the Kano State contractors,. The man receiving the bribe in the video is purported to be His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the current Executive Governor of Kano State.

The Kano State Government took a switch reaction to the published video through the Kano State Commissioner for Information, deny the content of the bribery allegation video and alleged that the characters in the video was clone, an attempt to defame the character of the Kano State Governor and the People of Kano state, therefore threatened legal action against the Media Organisation and its publisher Mr. Jafar Jafar.

 

Kano State House of Assembly

The media organisation in its response to the legal threat by the Kano State Government, alleged that the characters are not clone and the published bribery allegation video clip is one among the series of video clips in their possession, showing the Kano State Governor collecting bribe from the State contractors.

In the heat of the controversies surrounding the bribery allegation, a member representing Warawa constituency of the State, Hon. Labaran Abdul Madari, moved a motion under urgent public importance for the House to set up a committee to investigate the bribery allegation video against the Kano State Governor. The motion was passed by the House and a 7 man committee was set up by the House to investigate the bribery allegation video against the Governor. The committee inivted the publisher of Daily Nigeria Mr. Jafar Jafar and The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to appear before it.

The publisher of the media organisation Daily Nigeria Mr. Jafar Jafar have presented himself before the House committe to testify about the content of the video, however, on the date set for the Kano State Governor to appear before the investigation committee, His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduja was represented by the Hon. Commissioner for Information. Hence the following observations.

*Observations*

1. The content of the video clip is criminal in nature specifcally its bribery/corruption.
2. The Kano State House of Assembly through a resolution resolved to investigate the bribery allegation video against the Governor
3. The Kano State House of Assembly set up a committee for the purpose of investigation
4.It resulted from the activities/ execution of contracts which form part of the Kano State Budget.
5. Budgets of the State form parts of the State laws
6. The invitation of the Kano State House of Assembly is directed to the Kano State Governor and not the Kano State Government.
7. The Governor did not appear in person but was represented by the Hon. Commissioner for Information.
8. The publisher of Daily Nigeria Mr. Jafar Jafar have presented himself before the House committe.

*LEGAL OPINION*

After carefully perusing the above facts resulting to the investigation of the bribery allegation video and the invitation of the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to appear before the Kano State House of Assembly Investigation Committee. *Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria CFRN ( as amended )* protect a sitting Governor (Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje ) from any civil and criminal proceeding against him or her and such proceeding can only be in motion when is before a Court or Tribunal listed in *Section 6 (5) (a) _ (k) of the 1999 CFRN* *(as amended* ) or any court or tribunal established by an Act of the National or Law of the State House of Assembly for **section 308 of CFRN* to avail the Governor.

However, *section 308 of CFRN* donot preclude a sitting Governor from being investigated either by investigating agencies or the State House of Assembly, and the Kano State House of Assembly have the Constitutional power to carry out investigation on any one which include the Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on issues relating to the affairs and execution of the State laws and Corruption in the cause of executing the laws of the State which include the State budget, state contracts form part of the budget of the State. see *Section 128 (1) (a) & (b) of CFRN* and in the cause of investigation, the person under investigation shall be invited to appear before the House committee to give evidence before it and such a person (Governor) must appear in person see **Section 129 (1) (a* ) *-(d) of the CFRN* .
*
Therefore, in our opinion the Kano State House of Assemby is currently executing its Constitional mandate when it embark on the investigation of the bribery allegation video against the Kano State Governor and also inviting the Kano State Governor to appear before its committee.

Tohwo Oseruvwoja Esq,
[email protected]
@tohwo_opinion
Tajudeen A. O. Funsho & Associates
Kano

 

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