Posted by News Express | 8 March 2019 | 1,123 times
A foremost rights group has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to open the floodgate for thorough investigation into the $5m bribe allegations levelled against the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje.
The court case already assigned to Justice Ojukwu comes up on March 21 at Court Eight.
In an application filed at the Federal High Court, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) is seeking an order of Mandamus to compel the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) for a thorough investigation into the bribe scandal which dominated the social media late last year prompting an in-house investigation by the Kano State House of Assembly the outcome of which observers said was predetermined by the APC-dominated legislature.
For many months, the video dominated the social media leading to a deluge of condemnation from many Nigerians.
An order granting leave to HEDA to apply for a judicial review to seek an order directing the Chief Justice of the Federation to investigate the allegations against Ganduje based on Section 52, of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission Act 2000 (as amended).
The rights group said an independent counsel should be appointed to investigate the grave allegations against the Kano State Governor.
HEDA said it earlier requested the CJN to investigate the matter via a letter of request which met official brick walls.
In the written address to support the application, citing Fawehinmi vs I.G.P (2002) 7 NWLR. 767, where the Supreme Court said: “The Prerogative writ of mandamus is issued or ordered by the Courts to secure or enforce the performance of a public duty.” HEDA said the essence of the judicial review was as mandamus to secure or enforce the performance of a public duty.
One Mr Jaafar, a journalist and Publisher of DAILY NIGERIAN, had published a video showing Ganduje collecting dollars in cash said to be in the range of $5m form an unnamed contractor. The Kano State House of Assembly had set up a probe panel following public outcry and protest by a group, Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy.
However, early in December last year, the State House of Assembly suspended the probe following a State High Court Order banning the House from investigating the allegations. In a dramatic turn, the legislators suspended the probe due to the order from the State High Court.
Ruling on an ex parte application filed by one Muhammad Zubair, national coordinator of the group, A.T Badamasi, a judge, had asked the lawmakers to suspend the probe. Baffa Dan-Agundi, chairman of the committee investigating the scam, said his members had received a court order to halt the probe.
“We have received a court order that we should stop investigating the video clips showing Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, allegedly collecting bribe,” he said.
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