Again, Court Stays Kano Assembly’s Corruption Investigation of Ganduje

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Following a Kano High Court ruling yesterday that the status quo in the investigation of corruption allegation against the state Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, be maintained, the Kano House of Assembly has suspended further action on the enquiry.

The Chairman of the committee investigating the alleged corruption, Mr. Baffa Dan Agundi, told journalists at the end of yesterday’s proceedings that the assembly would obey the court and suspend the investigation.

The court on presided over by Justice A. T Badamasi had again ordered the assembly investigative committee and all parties involved in the investigation of alleged $5 million bribery saga involving Ganduje to maintain the status quo ante.

The court the order would also remain pending till the determination of the originating summon filed by the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, Mr. Mohammed Zubair.

When the case came up for hearing, Mr. Kalid Abdullatif, who stood in for Mr. Nuraini Jimoh, lead counsel to the plaintiff, stated that going by Order 29, Rule 1 and Order 28, Rule 1 and 4 of the Rules of the Court, 2014, the application filed on behalf of the plaintiff on November 5, 2018, restraining the defendants, Kano State House of Assembly, Mr. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi and the state Attorney-General from further investigation of the bribery allegation, still subsisted.

He said, “The application still remains an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the defendants, either by themselves, agents, privies, or officials, or other persons, whosoever, from further inviting anybody, questioning, examining, making any further press releases, releasing or playing any further video tapes, investigation or further proceedings, with the, or any bribery allegation against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, or anybody, whatsoever, therewith, pending the determination of the substantive suit before this honourable court.”

He further argued that the act of the defendants to have constituted a committee to investigate the bribery allegation against Governor Ganduje remained unconstitutional.

However, counsel to the Kano State House of Assembly (first defendant) and Investigative Committee Chairman, Mr. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi (second defendant), Mr. Mohammed Sa’ad Waziri, described his clients as law-abiding citizens, who would not breach the law in any way.

He said. “Before I proceed, I wish to state that the 1st and 2nd defendants are law-makers and law-abiding citizens. The order came a day to the date slated to listen to witnesses at the investigative panel.

“Since then, no step has been taken by the state House of Assembly or the Investigative Committee to breach the law, this is to tell you that Kano State House of Assembly is law-abiding. The assembly has no intention whatsoever to take any further steps until the subsisting matter is decided upon because constitutional issues are being raised.”

The third defendant, who is also the state Attorney-General, Mr. Ibrahim Muktar, did not object to the prayers of counsel to the plaintiff.

In his ruling, Justice Badamasi ordered all the parties involved in the case to maintain the status quo ante, pending the determination of the originating summon. He commended the counsel to the defendants for advising his clients wisely and adjourned the case to November 21 for further hearing.