Court Dismisses Bribery Suit against Ganduje

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

A Federal High Court in Kano yesterday dismissed a suit filed by a Kano-based lawyer, Mr. Bulama Bukarti, seeking an order of the court compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate the state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for allegedly receiving graft from a contractor.

Bukarti was also seeking an order of the court to compel the EFCC to make available report of its forensic investigation analysis of the video allegedly showing Ganduje collecting bribes from a faceless contractor.

Justice Obiorah Egwuatu ruled that even though where affidavit deposed to, is not countered, it is deemed admitted in the evidence therein and must be cogent and verifiable.

The judge averred that the provisions of Freedom of Information Act, 2011, required that the information requested must be a public record and in the custody of the instruction of the organisation so requested from.

Justice Egwuatu dismissed the case on the grounds that the evidence before the court has not shown that the EFCC has the record of the forensic analysis of the alleged bribery video, noting that the report ought to be given to the Kano State House of Assembly Ad-Hoc Committee set up to investigate the matter.

Counsel to the applicant, Abba Hikima said they will appeal the ruling.

Bukarti had asked the court to commit the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu to prison for failure to provide the report as requested.

EFCC did not put appearance or respond to the issues raised.

In 2018, a serial video clips released in the social media had allegedly captured Ganduje where he was alleged to be receiving a total sum of $5 million bribe from a contractor handling one of the state capital projects.

But the judge dismissed the case for lack of substantial evidence.

Justice Egwuatu ruled that “even though where the affidavit deposed to, is not countered, it is deemed admitted, the evidence therein must be cogent and verifiable.”