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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Why Kano anti-graft agency must appeal FHC judgement in Ganduje dollar case – Counsel

Why Kano anti-graft agency must appeal FHC judgement in Ganduje dollar case – Counsel

Reasons have been given why the Federal High Court judgement declaring Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-corruption Commission (PCACC) as lacking in power to investigate a case of corruption against former Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, must be appealed.

The court, in its judgement on Tuesday, said PCACC – a state antigraft agency – cannot investigate a federal offence. Justice Abdullahi Liman explained that PCACC has no business investigating an offense that falls under the federal law.

READ ALSO: DOLLAR BRIBERY CASE: Federal Court reveals how Kano anti-graft agency let Ganduje off the hook

PCACC’s counsel in the matter, Usman Umar Fari, said after the judgement on Tuesday that his client will appeal, but did not explain what he believed was wrong with the pronouncement.

Ganduje, in Suit No: FHC/KN/CS/195/2023, had sued PCACC and seven others, asking the court to halt his invitation and arrest without due process, especially when there is a pending defamation case before the FCT High Court against a journalist, Jaafar Jaafar, on the same subject matter over which he was to be investigated.

READ ALSO: Like Ganduje, Kano PCACC boss gets court protection from EFCC, ICPC, CCB probe

Fari, in a chat with Nigerian Sketch on Thursday, said it was shocking that the court suo-motu raised the issue of federal offence, which none of the parties raised during the proceedings. He also said Ganduje did not challenge the power of PCACC to probe him.

According to the lawyer, Ganduje’s main relief was for the court to declare that investigating him would amount to sub-judice, given the subsistence of the Abuja case, while requesting that further investigation be stopped.

READ ALSO: Kano PCACC’s Muhuyi Magaji back-pedals, agrees Ganduje dollar videos not doctored

PCACC however replied that the court lacks power to halt a criminal investigation of corruption allegation because of a civil action, arguing that “rather the law is that, it is the civil action that should not be commenced unless a criminal case is instituted and the suspect prosecuted….”

Fari said “the implication of this judgement is that any state anti-graft agency has been rendered jobless and powerless, because virtually all corruption offences are federal offences, and this is contrary to the position of the Court in A. G. Ondo v A.G. Federation in which the court said fighting corruption is a collective duty of all the three tiers of government in Nigeria.”




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