The video in which Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje was caught in 2018 pocketing wads of American dollars he took from a contractor is difficult for investigators to work on, the head of the state’s Anti-Corruption and Public Complaints Commission, Muhuyi Magaji, has said.
The Daily Nigerian newspaper published the video that immediately went viral and damaged Mr Ganduje’s reputation.
On June 12, during a retreat to assess the fight against corruption in Nigeria from 2015 to 2020 in Lagos, Mr Magaji said no one was willing to come forward and work with investigators for the prosecution of the governor.
He noted that when the video first appeared on the internet, it was backgrounded with music and had subtitles.
Mr Magaji said after an anonymous person sent a letter by courier to his commission calling for an investigation, “we addressed the media that we couldn’t do that because there is a procedure, even if the complainant didn’t want to appear in public.”
He said some complainants asked the commission to investigate the video, but that when officials of the commission traced their phone numbers and office addresses, all were found to be fake.
“Afterwards, we invited some of the names mentioned in the video, but they refused to come forward and they disowned the video. With this, we could not investigate and prosecute the person in the video as requested, certainly, no anti-corruption agency can do that,” Mr Magaji said.
The official stressed that to prosecute a person before a court of law, the prosecutor must do so with convincing evidence.
“The media has a role to play in supporting the fight against corruption. In a situation like this, we need to approach any of the anti-corruption agencies, cooperate with them, so that they can investigate and prepare the case,” Mr Magaji added.
The videos, serially published in 2018 by Daily Nigerian, were said to have been recorded in 2017.
The governor had immediately described the video as ‘cloned’ and sued the newspaper’s publisher, Jafar Jafar. Mr Ganduje said the video was politically motivated to scuttle his 2019 re-election bid.
The publisher later fled Nigeria, citing concern for his safety.
The newspaper alleged that the dollars were part of a $5 million the governor received from a government contractor.
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