An Abuja-based lawyer, Mr Abubakar Sani, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Kano, praying the court to stop the Kano State House of Assembly from continuing its ongoing investigations into the bribery allegations levelled against the Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
Sani, in his suit marked FHC/KN/CS/167/2018, which he filed on November 9, contended that the House of Assembly lacked the power to carry out such a probe.
But he urged the court to hold that the Code of Conduct Bureau is the only body constitutionally competent to undertake such investigation.
According to him, the provisions of paragraphs 6 (1)&(2), 12 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in Part 1 of the 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 empower only the CCB established by Section 153(1) of the Constitution to investigate such allegations.
Sani, who said he filed his suit in the public interest and as a tax payer, joined the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, and the Attorney General of the state as the two defendants.
He said in October 2018, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, along with other members of the House, set up an ad hoc committee mandated to investigate the videos showing Ganduje allegedly receiving bribes for contracts awarded by the Kano State Government.
The House’s ad hoc committee invited the publisher of the online medium which first published the videos (the Daily Nigerian), Mr Jaffar Jaffar, as well as Ganduje.
While Jaffar appeared before the committee, the governor sent his Commissioner for Information who read a statement made by the governor to the committee in which he denied the allegations.
The plaintiff stated that he sent a letter dated October 29, 2018 to the Kano State House of Assembly informing the House that it lacked the capacity to initiate the probe.
He is, therefore, seeking among others, a declaration that by virtue of Sections 153(1) and 209 as well as Paragraph 4 of Part II of the Fifth Schedule and Paragraphs 6(1)&(2) and 12 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, only the Code of Conduct Bureau is competent to investigate an allegation that a state governor has accepted cash as gratification for anything he or she did or omitted to do in the discharge his or her official functions.”
He is also seeking “a perpetual injunction restraining the Kano State House Assembly from continuing with or acting on from the outcome of the investigation undertaken by its ad hoc committee or any other organ whatsoever into the alleged bribe received by the State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.