A Kano High Court has ruled that the State House of Assembly lacks the power to investigate or invite the governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje, over an alleged criminal case.
Justice Ahmed Badamasi, who gave the ruling on Thursday, said the power to investigate criminal charges is vested in the police, Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The presiding judge said the assembly, by the constitution, only has the power to make law and review existing law but not the power to investigate criminal matters
Concise News recalls that the suit was filed by Muhammad Zubairu, national coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, a pro-democracy group.
Baffa Dangundi, chairman of the investigative panel of the house, and the attorney general of the state joined as defendants in the suit.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Nuraini Jimoh, applauded the ruling while Muhammad Waziri, the defendant’s lawyer, said he would consult his clients on their next line of action.
The Kano State Assembly had set up a seven-man committee to investigate the bribery allegation against Ganduje.
November 5, the court ordered the House to suspend the probe while ruling on an ex parte application by Zubair but the assembly vowed not to comply with the order.
The chairman of the committee investigating the issue had said the court order did not stop the panel from continuing with the investigation.
However, on November 13, the assembly eventually bowed to the order, saying the house is a law-abiding arm of government, hence, it would obey the court and suspend all forms of investigation on the case pending the court judgement.
In videos published by an online publication, Daily Nigerian, the Kano governor was seen allegedly receiving kickbacks from contractors. He has denied the allegation, saying the video was doctored.