Kano Govt Charges Ganduje, Wife With $413,000, N1.38bn Bribery

APC National Chairman Dr. Ibrahim Ganduje

The Kano State Government has filed criminal charges against the immediate past governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, over alleged $413,000, N1.38bn bribery.

The state said it had assembled 15 witnesses to testify against Ganduje.

Joined as co-defendants in the charge sheet dated April 3, 2024, sighted by our correspondent on Thursday, were Ganduje’s wife Hafsat, and his son, Umar.

Also listed as defendants were Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Ltd,  Safari Textiles Ltd and Lesage General Enterprises.

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Governor Abba Yusuf had on assumption of office accused  Ganduje of misappropriating public funds and allocating plots of land to some members of his immediate family.

One of the charges read: “That you, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, sometime between the period of January 10, 2016 or thereabouts, at Kano in the Kano Judicial Division, while serving as the Governor of Kano State and being a public servant in the government of Kano State corruptly asked for and received the sum of $200,000  being benefit for yourself from one of the beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Kano State Government on your instruction and approval as part of your function as the Governor of Kano State, thereby committed the offence of official corruption, contrary to and punishable under Section 22 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended), Law No 2 of 2009, Laws of Kano State of Nigeria.”

In the second count, the state government said, Ganduje, on February 10, 2017 “dishonestly and/or corruptly to your own advantage collected a kick-back of the sum of $ 213,000  being money generated from people and entities seeking or holding the execution of Kano State Government contact and or project for the remodeling of Kantin Kwari textile market as a bribe through one of the contractors (agent).”

In another count, state alleged that Ganduje, between September 2020 and march 2021, “together with one Hafsat Umar (your spouse) and Abubakar Bawuro, a businessman, Safari Textile Ltd, a limited liability company, wholly owned and maintained by the 3rd defendant, agreed to do an illegal act to wit: dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N1,376,000,000 through account No. 7085982019 belonging to the 3rd defendant being money earmarked and approved for the purchase and supply of face masks and other hospital equipment for the health sector, thereby causing wrongful loss to the people and the government of Kano State and thereby jointly committed the offence of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 96 and punishable under section 97 of The penal code (as amended) CAP,105, Vol.2. The Laws of Kano State of Nigeria, 1991.”

The Kano State’s Attorney General, Muhuyi  Magaji, said he was empowered by Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 121(1), 126(b) and 377 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2019, “to apply to prefer the charge attached herewith against the defendants.”

Meanwhile, the Governor Yusuf also set up two committees to probe the government of Ganduje, over alleged misappropriation of public property, political violence and missing persons in the state.

While inaugurating members of the committees, the governor vowed to bring to book anyone found wanting on conclusion of the probe.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director-General, Media and Publicity, Sanusi Tofa.

It will be recalled that Governor Yusuf had vowed to recover all public property allegedly stolen by the administration of his predecessor.

The panels, according to the statement, are to unravel those behind or involved in the misappropriation of public properties and political violence between 2015 and 2023.

Tofa quoted the governor as recalling his inaugural promises of investigating the misappropriation of public assets, unravelling and prosecuting the culprits.

 He said, “Political violence is a major setback to democracy worldwide. It leads to loss of lives and properties as well as mistrust on the part of the people and those in power.

“The disturbing cases of political killings especially in 2023 must not be swept under the carpet, this is to ensure we prevent future occurrences”.

While Justice Zuwaira Yusuf was pronounced chairperson of the commission with the responsibility of unraveling players and causes of political violence as well as missing persons, Justice Faruk Lawan sits on the commission saddled with the responsibility of probing misappropriation of public properties and assets during the years under review.

The governor, who noted that the move was neither political nor a witch-hunt,  charged the commissions not to compromise but to remain faithful to their oath and the people of Kano by ensuring justice for the state.

He added, “We went through your records and we couldn’t find any of you wanting. We believe in you and we expect your full reports in 3 months time.”

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