Breaking News

Kano slams criminal charges on APC chair Ganduje for $413,000 babanriga cash bribe, N5.6 billion state treasury loot

Governor Abba Yusuf’s administration has filed at least eight criminal charges against his predecessor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, chair of the ruling All Progressives Congress, for allegedly stealing N5.6 billion from Kano’s coffers and taking bribes from public works contractors totalling almost half a million dollars, according to documents obtained by Peoples Gazette....CONTINUE.THE.FULL.READING OF THE ARTICLE>>>

Stripped of immunity following the expiration of his governorship tenure in May 2023, Mr Ganduje is left vulnerable to answer the corruption charges preferred against him, which already has 15 witnesses willing to testify against him at the Kano High Court.

In 2018, a video surfaced which showed Mr Ganduje flashing a broad smile as he stashed wads of American dollars in his babanriga, a long, flowing, traditional embroidered robe commonly worn by men in the northern region. The outfit is known to have deep, large pockets.

The video, posted by Daily Nigerian in 2018 but with a 2017 timestamp, went viral and sparked an uproar across the nation as it cemented claims that state governors often took large commissions from the contracts awarded to companies vying for government projects.

Mr Ganduje denied being in the video, claiming it was “cloned.”

Per the constitutional immunity he enjoyed as a sitting governor until his tenure was up last May, he could neither be investigated nor prosecuted. The federal government that handles the prosecution of corruption cases has been reluctant to bring charges because it has been under the control of Mr Ganduje’s party.

However, his successor, Mr Yusuf, a candidate of the rival New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), seems determined to bring Mr Ganduje to book as the Kano government is now exploring legal channels to prosecute the former governor and all persons listed as his conspirators including his wife Hafsat and son, Umar Abdullahi.

The three companies that allegedly benefited from the stolen funds and linked to his family members were also listed as sixth to eighth defendants in the suit dated April 3.

The Kano government, represented by a team of four lawyers led by Y.A. Adamu, was listed as the only complainant in the suit.

According to the Kano government, Mr Ganduje received $200,000 in January 2016 and another $213,000 in February 2017 in kickbacks from contractors selected for “the remodelling of Kantin Kwari textile market.”

Between September 2020 and March 2021, Mr Ganduje diverted N1.4 billion meant to purchase face masks “and other hospital equipment for the health sector” for his personal use in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Yusuf’s government alleged.

Sometime around March 2021, Mr Ganduje was accused of forcefully acquiring 501 “high density plots” from “peasant farmers” which he sold for N700 million and deposited the proceeds into the account of BDC operator Vision Steel Link Limited.

According to court documents, the APC chair arranged for the dollar equivalent of the N700 million to be paid into his son’s account.

Another charge instituted against the former governor was that he deliberately sold the Kano cotton ginnery valued at N750 million at a discounted rate of N320 million through a proxy managed by his immediate family, thereby shortchanging the state government and the people.

Further complicating the ginnery sale was that the proceeds were not remitted to the state account, as stated in the document detailing Mr Ganduje’s charges.

Witnesses, including bank employees privy to the fraudulent transactions, a forensic expert who analysed the bribery footage, and contractors who said they gave Mr Ganduje percentages of Kano contract awards, have affirmed their willingness to submit oral and written testimonies against the ex-governor in court.

The case marks the beginning of turbulent waters for Mr Ganduje, who seems to be settling into his role as APC chair after being passed over for a ministerial position due to his bribery-tainted persona.

About the author

Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

Leave a Comment