KANO, NIGERIA — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a Nigerian anti-graft agency, received a petition this week from the NGO, War Against Injustice, calling for the arrest and prosecution of Abdullahi Ganduje, the former governor of Kano State. The petition was in response to longstanding allegations of a $5 million bribery scandal.
Signed by the Executive Director of War Against Injustice, Umar Ibrahim Umar, and dated Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the petition urges the EFCC to treat Ganduje just as it would any ordinary Nigerian citizen facing similar accusations.
“Allegations of such magnitude should not be allowed to disappear into oblivion just because of the perpetrator’s political status,” stated Umar in the petition, which was formally submitted to the Kano Zonal Commander of the EFCC.
The allegations first came to light in 2018 when Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, published video clips purporting to show Ganduje accepting bribes from contractors to the tune of $5 million. Malam Jaafar Jaafar, the Chief Editor of Daily Nigerian released the clips.
In response to the videos, the 8th Kano State House of Assembly formed a seven-member committee to investigate the alleged offence. However, their investigation was halted by an injunctive order from the Kano State High Court, which deemed the Assembly lacked the necessary powers to probe a criminal offence. As Ganduje was still serving as governor, his immunity from prosecution allowed him to avoid further legal action.
With Ganduje’s term as governor ending, War Against Injustice demands that the EFCC take action.
“The outcome of this investigation remains of great interest to ordinary Nigerians and anti-corruption NGOs like ours,” Umar wrote in the petition. “A proper investigation and consequent actions will serve as a deterrent to both public officials and private citizens, discouraging them from indulging in corrupt practices.”
The petition has also been forwarded to the chairman of the commission for immediate action, indicating the urgency of the matter.
With corruption remaining a significant concern in Nigeria, the EFCC’s response to this petition will undoubtedly have significant implications for the country’s ongoing fight against graft.