The wife of the Governor of Kano State, Hafsat Ganduje, has flown to London to attend the graduation of one of her sons.
Mrs Ganduje made the trip after ignoring an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over her alleged involvement in a land fraud scandal.
She was invited by the anti-graft agency last Thursday over a petition by her eldest son, Abdulazeez, PREMIUM TIMES reported earlier.
Mr Ganduje’s media aide, Abubakar Ibrahim, on Tuesday announced the London trip.
“Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, The First Lady, Prof. Hafsat Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Family attended the Graduation of the Youngest Son to the Family, Muhammad Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who graduated from the Regent’s University London as BA. (Hons). Global Management (Enterprise & Innovation). Today, Tuesday. 14/9/2021,” the official said.
Mr Ibrahim also posted on Facebook the photos of members of the Ganduje family attending the graduation ceremony.
Mrs Ganduje was invited to report last Thursday at the Abuja headquarters of the EFCC.
Her son, Abdulazeez, had dragged her to the EFCC, sources familiar with the matter said, suggesting a pattern of corruptly using family access to power for private enrichment.
The governor himself had previously been involved in a corruption-related scandal. He has struggled to untangle himself from the public perception that he is a corrupt public servant since 2018 when Daily Nigerian online newspaper published a series of videos that showed him collecting money from a government contractor.
According to sources who saw Abdulazeez’s petition, he reported that he was approached by a property developer to help facilitate the acquisition of some plots of land in Kano with some hundreds of thousands of US dollars and at least N35 million as “facilitation commission”.
PREMIUM TIMES further learnt that Abdulazeez said he paid the sum in dollars to his mother, Mrs Ganduje.
“But three months later, (the property developer) discovered that the plots of land he wanted and had paid the First Family for had been allocated to other buyers and he then requested to be refunded,” one source added.
Asked to comment on the matter, a spokesperson for Kano State Government, Mohammed Garba, said, “I am not aware”.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, did not comment on the matter when contacted on Monday.
But insiders said Mrs Ganduje could be arrested if she refuses to report for questioning. Unlike her husband who by virtue of his office enjoys immunity from arrest and prosecution, Mrs Ganduje enjoys no such constitutional immunity.
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