Ado Doguwa’s Many Troubles

Barely 24 hours after the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, was granted bail in the sum of N500 million over his alleged involvement in culpable homicide, illegal possession of firearms and breach of public peace, his reelection bid suffered fresh setback following the removal of his name from the list of House members-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission for allegedly forcing the electoral body to declare him as winner under duress, Ejiofor Alike writes

Reprieve may have come the way of the embattled Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa last Monday when the Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice Muhammad Yunusa,  granted him  bail in the sum of N500 million, but this could be the beginning of his problems.

The lawmaker representing Doguwa/Tudunwada Federal Constituency in Kano State was charged with culpable homicide, illegal possession of firearms and breach of public peace.

He was arrested last month by the police for his alleged role in the killing of several persons and burning of the secretariat of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) during the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25.

The police had confirmed that at least three persons were killed when the campaign secretariat of the NNPP in Tudunwada was set ablaze.

In what his opponents described as his desperation to win his reelection bid to realise his ambition of  emerging as the next speaker of the House, Doguwa was alleged to have personally led the thugs that set ablaze the NNPP secretariat.

Two persons were also reportedly burnt to death during the crisis that broke out during the collation of the results of Doguwa/Tudunwada House of Representatives’ election, in which Doguwa was eventually announced winner ‘under duress’.

The lawmaker, who was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1992 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), returned to the Green Chamber in 2007 and has remained there since then, scheming to emerge as the next speaker in June.

He reportedly polled 39,732 votes to defeat the candidate of the NNPP, Yushau Salisu Abdullahi, who polled 34,798 votes, according to the Returning Officer, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Yakasai, who allegedly made the announcement under duress.

Following his alleged acts of violence during the last elections, Doguwa was taken to a Kano State Magistrate’s Court, where the magistrate, Ibrahim Yola, ordered his remand.

However, on Monday, Justice Yunusa granted him bail in the sum of N500 million.

 Doguwa’s lawyer, Nuraini Jimoh (SAN), had told the court that his client was presumed to be innocent pursuant to the provisions of Section 35 (6) of the Constitution.

The court also ordered the lawmaker to drop his passport with the court registry, pending the conclusion of his trial.

He was also restrained from going to his constituency for the gubernatorial and state House Assembly elections.

His joy was however short-lived as indications emerged on Tuesday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had removed his name from the list of the elected members of the House of Representatives.

INEC’s remark on the election result of Doguwa simply read: “Declaration made under duress.”

Doguwa’s alleged display of acts of thuggery and violence did not start on the day of the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Before the elections, THISDAY had in January reported his alleged acts of violence, but the security agencies turned a blind eye to his activities.

In a video that went viral, Doguwa, who spoke mainly in Hausa at a political rally in Kano, had threatened prospective voters to vote for the APC or be dealt with.

“To God who made me, on election day, you must vote for APC or we will deal with you.

“I’m saying it again: On election day you either vote for APC, or we deal with you.

“Repeat after me, in Doguwa you either vote for APC or we deal with you,” he said.

But reacting to the outrage that greeted his threat, the lawmaker had claimed that his statement was not a threat but campaign rhetoric peculiar to Kano politics. 

“Asking people to vote for APC or we deal with them simply means – like what you can call shenanigans, political brouhaha, which we make simply to ginger our supporters, to let them feel that we are on the ground and we will get it right,” he reportedly explained.

However, an amalgamation of dozens of groups under the aegis of Groups for Democracy wrote to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, kicking against the rumoured plan to make him the next speaker due to his alleged ignoble public conduct.

Doguwa was also dragged to court over the threat he issued.

The plaintiff, Oseyili Anenih, who filed the suit at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on December 20, 2022, said Doguwa’s ominous statement, which contravened Section 93 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, was “capable of causing threat, fear of use of force or threat in the minds of ordinary Nigerian electorate.”

The majority Leader had one month earlier allegedly attacked the deputy governorship candidate of the APC in Kano State, Murtala Garo, with a teacup during a meeting.

Though the lawmaker denied that he attacked Garo, the deputy governorship candidate had told BBC Hausa that the majority leader violently invaded a meeting at the deputy governor’s residence and made several “baseless accusations” against those in attendance, including the deputy governor, Nasiru Gawuna, who is also the party’s governorship candidate.

Garo alleged that the majority leader became violent and injured him with a teacup while he was trying to defend himself against some of the accusations.

He explained that Doguwa accused them of not inviting him because they were sharing money.

 However, in his defence, Doguwa explained that he was in the meeting to find out why the federal lawmakers from the state were not invited but their colleagues at the state level were in attendance.

Doguwa said while he was asking the deputy governor, “this boy (Garo) responded by saying ‘so what if we did not invite you?’ He started abusing me in the process; he broke a teacup and slipped into it injuring himself.”

Contrary to what people are saying, I did not throw a teacup at him,” Doguwa reportedly told BBC Hausa.

Despite the alarm raised by an amalgamation of dozens of groups under the platform of Groups for Democracy for Doguwa to be called to order, the security agencies never invited him.

The Groups for Democracy wrote to Governor Ganduje urging him to call Doguwa to order. The governor’s spokesperson, Mr. Abba Anwar, confirmed the letter by the Groups for Democracy.

He disclosed that the group noted that Doguwa was not the type of person needed as a Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“What transpired at the deputy governor’s residence, started by Hon. Doguwa is nothing but disrespectful to our governor’s choice of gubernatorial candidate and his running mate,” the letter added.

Despite the warning, Doguwa had remained untouchable until many people lost their lives on election day.

With all the criminal allegations hanging on his neck, his ambition to become the next speaker is in jeopardy.

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