Posted by Olawale Olaleye | 4 November 2018 | 1,765 times
Even as video evidence appearing to show him receiving dollar bribe mounts, Kano State Governor Abdulahi Ganduje has continued to insist that the viral clips are doctored to portray him in bad light. But Ganduje would need to do more than just pointing accusing fingers at his political enemies for his ordeal. He has a lot of work to do to wriggle out of the unfolding scandal, which may ultimately not only cost him his job, but may lead to his prosecution.
A little over a week ago, when the first bribe video hit the airwaves, the governor grandstanded, as is typical of politicians in such circumstances, boasting that he would sue the publisher of the online news portal, Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar, who uploaded the video on the internet.
The governor claimed the video was doctored and pronto, his media handlers and consultants immediately went to town with menacing fervor to try to puncture the videos through their in-house experts and excitedly faulting its originality from all angles.
But this did not deter the state House of Assembly, which had said it would investigate the video and would not hesitate to impeach the governor if it found out the videos were actually authentic and not manipulated to malign the governor.
Consequent upon this, the state legislature invited Mr. Jaafar Jaafar to come and give evidence about the video’s authenticity. And he did. But the publisher, during his appearance before the Assembly committee, compounded Ganduje’s plight, when he claimed he had more video evidence of Ganduje personally taking bribe from contractors.
He told the House he would be willing to release more of such video evidence if need be. Even though he alleged threats and attempts on his life for exposing corruption and speaking truth to power, he had since released more videos, some of which now show clearly Ganduje accepting bribe during a conversation with the bribe-giver in Hausa language.
It is however worthy of mention that Ganduje has, for the umpteenth time, denied collecting bribe from any contractor as alleged by Daily Nigerian. He said this while testifying before the House committee investigating the allegation on Friday, insisting the video clips were aimed at tarnishing his image, politically.
Represented by the Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, Ganduje complained that the allegation was injurious. But Chairman of the committee, Hon Baffa Babba Danagundi, assured the public that justice would be done to all parties involved.
Further expatiating on the videos to THISDAY last night, Garba questioned the credibility of the man behind the releases.
For Ganduje, therefore, the burden of proof is a weighty one that must not only be established but be seen as been so put down beyond every reasonable doubt, because he is generally seen to have committed this crime in the most indecent and primitive fashion ever recorded in the history of the country if the videos are anything to go by.
Besides, the Assembly must go all out to do that which is right and just, including involving forensic analysis and not be tempted to see this as a political opening to deal with perceived enemies. That would colour the very essence of this rare opportunity to make history. This is beyond politics but a major national concern that must be handled with utmost patriotism, for posterity and the image of the legislature.
• Excerpted from THISDAY report
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