A group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sued President Muhammadu Buhari for not ordering investigation of the bribery allegations against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State as contained in the widely circulated video clips.
The clips allegedly show Ganduje receiving bribe.SERAP had in November asked the president to direct the investigation of Ganduje “if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence for him to face prosecution at the expiration of his tenure as governor.” The organization also sought protection for the journalist, Jaafar Jaafar, who reportedly published the video clips.
SERAP said since the receipt of its letter to date, President Buhari has failed to grant the requests. A Kano State High Court last week stopped the House of Assembly from investigating the $5 million bribery allegation against Ganduje.
Consequently, the group, at the weekend, filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr. Buhari to immediately direct the investigation of allegations of bribery against Mr. Ganduje.”
SERAP said: “The applicant’s requests are not onerous but simply based on issues of public interest, good governance, transparency and accountability. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application, as the respondent has nothing to lose if the application is granted.”
The suit is also seeking an order compelling Buhari to “instruct appropriate security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the protection and guarantee the safety and security of journalist Jaafar Jaafar.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Ms. Bamisope Adeyanju, read in part: “Investigating allegations of bribery against Ganduje would be entirely consistent with the provisions of section 15 subsection (5) of the 1999 Constitution, which requires the government of the respondent to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power, regardless of the state where such practices are taking place. The Constitution defines ‘government’ to include federal, state and local governments.
“Growing allegations of corruption against many state governors have not been investigated and several of the governors involved are getting away with their alleged crimes. Granting the reliefs sought would assist the respondent to succeed in his fight against corruption and help to combat corruption among many state governors, who continue to allegedly mismanage their states’ resources with almost absolute impunity.” No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.