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Kano denies $5m bribery allegation against governor

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The Kano State Government has filed a criminal case against an online publication and its publisher for defaming the character of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in “a cloned and doctored” video footage that contains inappropriate conduct. The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice will be challenging the “implausible and eccentric posting of the cloned video that went viral in a court of law, considering the gravity of the caricature, which indicates the extent to which mischievous elements can go to discredit public figures by wielding non-existent scandals against them.”

An online medium, Daily Nigerian had, at the weekend, released a video where the governor allegedly appeared receiving bribe amounting to about $5 million from contractors in the state. The medium claimed that the video was a sting operation that was verified before publication. But the Kano government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Youth and Culture, Malam Muhammad Garba, debunked the video and its content, saying that, “The Governor of Kano State wishes to, once again, emphatically debunk the allegation of receiving gratification of $5 million or any amount whatsoever from any person or body. “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.

“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 State 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.”

The publisher of Daily Nigerian, Mr. Jaafar Jaafar, in the report stated that multiple contractors who spoke with newspaper on the condition of anonymity said the governor personally received from 15 to 25 per cent kickbacks for every project executed in the state. Jaafar said the sting operation to capture the governor on camera began two years ago when one of the contractors agreed to a request by the media outfit to plant spy camera on his kaftan lapel while offering the bribes. He said: “During about 10-month efforts to capture the bribe giving/ taking scenes, the governor’s face and body were clearly captured in nine clips, while six others did not clearly reveal the governor’s face. About $5 million were delivered to the governor during the sting operation.”

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