The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, on Monday, in Abuja declined comments on whether the agency had commenced investigations into the bribery allegations levelled against the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje.
Mr Magu, who spoke during a press briefing to tell Nigerians on the strides made by the agency in the past three years, ignored a question on the scandal.
Mr Ganduje recently appeared in a series of videos released by a Nigerian newspaper, Daily Nigerian, receiving ‘kickback’ in dollars said to be about $5 million.
The money was given by persons believed to be contractors to the state government.
The first set of at least 15 clips in possession of Daily Nigerian were published by the platform. Other videos surfaced a few days later.
The videos were recorded in 2017 in what Daily Nigerian described as a sting operation aimed at beaming a spotlight on the governor’s alleged penchant for contract racketeering.
The governor has debunked the video as “cloned” and threatened a lawsuit against its publisher.
But PREMIUM TIMES’ graphics experts who examined the video corroborated the position of Daily Nigerian, which earlier said its internal and independent graphics analysts authenticated the clips.
The Kano assembly which initially initiated a probe into the allegations by inviting Daily Nigerian suspended the process on Monday in deference to a court ruling embarked upon by the governor to stop the probe.
The acting anti-graft boss snubbed a question on the scandal at a press briefing but quickly answered questions which focused on the convictions and recoveries the agency made in recent years.
Mr Magu, who was asked by a reporter to confirm if the EFCC was investigating Mr Ganduje ignored the question.
He said, “Next question please.”
Constitutionally, Mr Ganduje cannot be prosecuted because he enjoys immunity while in office. But the agency is not barred from investigating him.
This it did, in the case of Ayodele Fayose, ex-governor of Ekiti State, who could not be prosecuted for alleged graft while in office but was actively investigated by the EFCC. Mr Fayose was immediately detained when he left office a few weeks ago.
Mr Fayose belongs to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party while Mr Ganduje is of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
At Monday’s press conference, Mr Magu also said the commission secured 703 convictions from 2015 to date.
“In the three years that I have been in charge of EFCC, we have secured 703 convictions. For me, it was an auspicious opportunity to contribute my quota to Mr President’s vision of a corruption-free nation,” he said.