The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to mandate the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to investigate the $5million bribery allegations levelled against Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State.
In an application filed at the Federal High Court, HEDA is seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to launch a thorough investigation into the bribery allegations against the Governor.
The court case has already been assigned to Justice Ojukwu, and comes up on March 21 at Court Eight.
In October 2018, a series of videos in which Ganduje had been caught on camera receiving kickbacks from a contractor had been published by Daily Nigerian. The video series also prompted an in-house investigation by the Kano State House of Assembly.
HEDA is seeking an order directing the Chief Justice of the Federation to investigate the allegations against Ganduje based on Section 52 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission Act 2000 (as amended).
The rights group said an independent counsel should be appointed to investigate the grave allegations against the Kano State Governor.
HEDA said it earlier requested the CJN to investigate the matter via a letter of request "which met official brick walls".
In the written address to support the application, citing Fawehinmi vs I.G.P (2002) 7 NWLR. 767, where the Supreme Court said: “The prerogative writ of mandamus is issued or ordered by the Courts to secure or enforce the performance of a public duty," HEDA said "the essence of the judicial review was as mandamus to secure or enforce the performance of a public duty".
According to HEDA, a group, Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy, had called for investigation into the matter, after which the state House of Assembly began a probe into the allegations.
However, in December last year, the state House of Assembly suspended the probe following a state High Court order, banning the House from investigating the allegations.
Ruling on an ex parte application filed by one Muhammad Zubair, national coordinator of the group, A.T. Badamasi, a judge, had asked the lawmakers to suspend the probe.
Baffa Dan-Agundi, chairman of the committee investigating the allegations, said his members had received a court order to halt the probe.
“We have received a court order that we should stop investigating the video clips showing Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje allegedly collecting bribe,” he said.