From Edwin Olofu, Kano
A Kano high court has retrained the Kano state House of Assembly from further investigation of the alleged bribery allegation against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje by a Nigerian online newspaper.
This followed a legal action taken against the House Committee and others by a pro-democracy group, Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, which declared the committee’s sittings unconstitutional.
To this end, the high court presided over by Justice A.T. Badamasi on Monday ordered Kano state House of Assembly Investigative Committee to stop further proceedings on the alleged bribery allegation against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The court urged the House of Assembly and all parties involved to maintain the status quo ante until the hearing of the Motion on Notice obtained by a pro-democracy group, Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria.
Justice Badamasi gave the order following a suit filed by the national coordinator of the group, Bar. Muhammad Zubair against the Kano state House of Assembly, Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi and other members of the seven-man Investigative Committee and Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Kano state.
Justice Badamasi, however, issued an Interim Injunction, restraining the Kano state House of Assembly Seven-man Investigative Committee from further investigation of the said bribery allegation.
According to the Judge, “upon carefully run through the Ex-parte application dated 5th day of November, 2018 filed by Counsel for the plaintiff/applicant accompanied by a 23 paragraphs affidavit duly deposed to by Muhammad Zubair, a legal practitioner as well as the written address in support of Application thereto:
“And after hearing Mr. Nuraini Jimoh Esq. (with him A.N.Ahmad Esq) Counsel for the applicant. The application is hereby granted in the following manner:
“The respondents should be served before the close of work today (5 November). Accelerated hearing is hereby ordered and the respondents are given four days to respond to this application after service.
“Parties should maintain status quo ante pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice.”
The Judge, however, adjourned the matter to Monday, 12 November, 2018 for hearing.
Speaking to reporters at the NUJ Press Centre, the plaintiff who is also the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, Bar. Zubair said that, “we followed with keen interest the investigation being carried out by a seven-man Committee of the Kano state House of Assembly.
“We followed the issue and analyzed the provision of the law; we came to the conclusion that the House of Assembly have no right or constitutional backing to investigate the said bribery allegation. We believe it is an illegal action.”