From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Hours after the release of a purported video clip by an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, showing the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, allegedly collecting bribes in hard currency, the state government has dismissed the footage and vowed to sue the publisher.
The state government described the allegation as defamation of character, stressing that video was cloned and doctored.
This was contained in a statement by the state Commissioner of Information, Youth and Culture, Comrade Muhammad Garba issued to journalists yesterday.
The statement revealed that the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice is challenging “the implausible and eccentric posting of the cloned video that went viral in a court of law, considering the gravity of the caricature.”
The government stated that the allegation indicates the extent to which mischievous elements can go to discredit public figures by wielding non-existent scandals against them.
The state also emphasized that a mere observation of the cloned video clearly showed that the video was doctored and disjointed with no material facts or evidence to prove the allegations, describing it as a callous attempt to tarnish the hard earned image of the office and the person of the Governor.
“Kano state government has decided to file a criminal case against an online publication, Daily Nigerian, and its publisher on defamation of character after it released a clone and doctored video footage mischievously portraying Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje involved in an inappropriate conduct.
“A mere observation of the cloned video clearly shows that the video is doctored and disjointed with no material facts or evidence to prove the allegations, other than a callous attempt to tarnish the hard earned image of the office and the person of the Governor.
“The Governor of Kano State wishes to once again emphatically debunk the allegation of receiving gratification of $5Million or any amount whatsoever from any person or body.”
The statement reads in parts:
“It is important to draw the attention of the general public to the fact that the alleger is a serial blackmailer and extorter. We are also aware that the hidden motive is to reduce the popularity of the Governor and consequently affect the anticipated quantum of APC votes from Kano in the 2019 general elections.
“While the state government is taking the legal action, we wish to assure the good people of Kano that His Excellency will remain focused and continue with laudable programmes that will add value to the lives of the people of Kano State. We also call on the general public, especially members of the APC, to remain calm and always be law abiding,” said the statement
It would be recalled that the publisher of Daily Nigerian newspaper, Ja’afar Ja’afar, last week reported that a North-West governor was caught on camera receiving bribes amounting to $5 million.
In a subsequent report, Ja’afar mentioned the identity of the governor as Ganduje, while releasing the purported video footage yesterday and vowed to release more.