PCACC’s Muhuyi Magaji vows to probe Ganduje’s bribe videos he earlier defended
The reinstated chairman of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magajin Rimingado, has pledged to reopen the investigation into some videos that showed former governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, allegedly receiving bribe.
These were the same videos that Rimingado had earlier unilaterally said were fake.
A non-governmental organization, the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), specifically demanded that the PCACC under Rimingado probes the allegations in the video.
The organisation said the allegations against the governor as well as the video evidence were “too glaring to ignore”, adding that PCACC and other anti-corruption agencies “should rise to the occasion by going to the root of this issue and possibly document evidence for eventual prosecution of all those found culpable.”
“We are aware that the hands of the anti-corruption agencies are somehow tied by constitutional immunity enjoyed by Mr. Ganduje. This, however, does not stop them from conducting preliminary investigation into the matter,” said AFRICMIL’s coordinator, Chido Onumah.
Onumah said nothing in Section 308 of the constitution that gives immunity to the president and governors stops the anti-corruption agencies from interrogating Mr. Ganduje in the process of the investigation.
“Cases like this serve as litmus tests for the operational independence of our anti-corruption agencies and political will of the government,” he said.
Another non-governmental organization, Kano Concerned for Prudent Leadership, called Nigerian Sketch to lament that the PCACC under Rimingado had refused to heed its request to probe the allegations against the governor, saying all claims about the independence of the commission “are fallacious.”
The group said it sent a letter to PCACC which was received by the commission in 2020 where it wrote that “The organization calls on your good office to invoke the powers under the relevant provisions of your law and cause a thorough investigation into the matter.”
It also informed the PCACC that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) “has since authenticated the videos as genuine.”
Rimingado’s reaction was to say that the videos were doctored and cannot pass legal scrutiny. He berated journalists for dwelling on the videos and for giving prominence to organizations that were asking questions.
He said journalists should not behave like “hungry dogs” by giving credence to issues that were “non issues”, adding that the petition sent to him by the non-governmental organization was never adopted.
He said in a short text message he sent to Nigerian Sketch that his commission has “never authenticated any video as genuine. As per (sic) as we are concern (sic) the video is more doctored than being (sic) and this has been the people of any sensible and rational thinking people. The press shall not speak for us, they should have allowed us to say things other than speaking on our behalf.”
According to Rimingado, at that time, no governor in Nigeria has institutionalized the fight against corruption like Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Not long after, Rimingado fell out with the then governor and was subsequently removed from the PCACC. He joined another party and fought the governor he had earlier passionately defended.
After he was reinstated to the PCACC by the new state governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, he told Trust TV’s Daily Politics that it is was necessary to probe the videos, claiming he could not probe the ex-governor earlier due to constitutional immunity.
Of course, that claim was false because governors were only immune from prosecution, but they could be investigated. This was pointed out to Rimingado who, incidentally, is a lawyer too.
A Nigerian online publication, Daily Nigerian, had released some videos of Ganduje allegedly collecting kickbacks from contractors few years ago.
The video trended on the social media and caused some hoopla in the state, especially among politicians.
Ganduje denied the allegation that he was receiving kickbacks, insisting that the videos were doctored in line with Rimingado’s then assertion.
Share your thoughts on the story PCACC’s Muhuyi Magaji vows to probe Ganduje’s bribe videos he earlier fervently defended with NigerianSketch in the comments section below.