Kano Govt Drags Ganduje, Wife To Court Over Alleged $413,000, N1.38bn Graft


BY OUR CORRESPONDENT – The Kano State Government has filed fresh criminal charges against the immediate past governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat Umar, and six others before a State High Court over bribery allegations involving the sums of $413,000, and N1.38 billion.

Those joined as co-defendants in the charge sheet dated April 3, 2024, are Ganduje’s son, Umar Abdullahi Umar, Abubakar Bawuro, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Ltd., Safari Textiles Ltd., and Lesage General Enterprises.

A copy of the suit filed by the prosecution counsel, Muhuyi Magaji Esq, and others indicates that the government is dragging Ganduje and seven others before the court on eight count charges concerning dollar bribery allegation, misappropriation, and diversion of funds running into billions of Naira.

This is as the State explained that it has already assembled about 15 witnesses to testify against Ganduje, who is currently the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

One of the charges read thus; “That you, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, sometime between the period of January 10, 2016 or thereabouts, at Kano in the Kano Judicial Division, while serving as the Governor of Kano State and being a public servant in the government of Kano State corruptly asked for and received the sum of $200,000 being benefit for yourself from one of the beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Kano State Government on your instruction and approval as part of your function as the Governor of Kano State, thereby committed the offence of official corruption, contrary to and punishable under Section 22 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended), Law No 2 of 2009, Laws of Kano State of Nigeria.”

Also, the State government said in the second count that on February 10, 2017, Alhaji Ganduje “dishonestly and/or corruptly to your advantage collected a kick-back of the sum of $213,000 being money generated from people and entities seeking or holding the execution of Kano State Government contact and or project for the remodeling of Kantin Kwari textile market as a bribe through one of the contractors (agent).”

Similarly, another of the charges brought by the State against Ganduje, alleged between September 2020 and March 2021, he “together with one Hafsat Umar (your spouse) and Abubakar Bawuro, a businessman, Safari Textile Ltd, a limited liability company, wholly owned and maintained by the 3rd defendant, agreed to do an illegal act to wit: dishonestly converted to your use the sum of N1,376,000,000 through account No. 7085982019 belonging to the 3rd defendant being money earmarked and approved for the purchase and supply of face masks and other hospital equipment for the health sector, thereby causing wrongful loss to the people and the government of Kano State and thereby jointly committed the offence of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 96 and punishable under section 97 of The penal code (as amended) CAP,105, Vol.2. The Laws of Kano State of Nigeria, 1991.”

Defending the State government’s position in filing fresh criminal charges against the former governor, the Attorney General of Kano State, Muhuyi Magaji, said Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 121(1), 126(b), and 377 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2019, empower him “to apply to prefer the charge attached herewith against the defendants.”

Recalled on assumption of office on May 29, 2023, Governor Abba Yusuf had accused Ganduje of not only misappropriating public funds but also dubiously allocating plots of land to some members of his immediate family and other cronies.

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