From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
A High Court in Kano State, yesterday ruled that the state House of Assembly has no power to investigate the bribery allegation against governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Ganduje was under probe by the assembly over video clips showing the governor allegedly receiving kickbacks from unknown contractors.
However, the state government filed a lawsuit to challenge the power of the lawmakers to investigate the embattled governor.
But, in his judgement on the matter, the presiding Judge, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, said the first and second defendants, (the state Assembly and the seven-man committee set up by the House) lacked the powers to investigate the allegation.
According to him, all the defendants could not investigate the bribery allegation against Me Ganduje as alleged by Jaafar Jaafar, the editor-in-chief of an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian.
Mr Badamasi added that the online newspaper should have sent the video clips when he came across them to the Police, EFCC or any Anti-graft agency as they are the only bodies that have powers to investigate the bribery allegation.
He said, “An order of injunction is hereby made preventing the parties from conducting further investigation in respect of the matter.
The Judge, who cited similar cases in Kogi and Delta States, therefore, said he also defended on sections 128 ( 2) and section 129 of the constitution, which explicitly explains that the state assembly has no right or power to conduct criminal investigation against the governor.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the sitting, counsel to the House of Assembly, Mohammed Waziri said he would consult his clients whether they want to appeal against the judgement.
According to him, the judgement was sound because it considered the provisions of the constitution.
In his remarks, the third defendant, who is also the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Muktar expressed satisfaction with the judgement, noting that the judge had quoted the relevant section of the constitution which says the House has no power to conduct criminal investigation against the governor.