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The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) has formally launched an investigation against former governor of the state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over the alleged bribery videos.

The chairman of the commission, Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado revealed this on Tuesday in a press conference while confirming the arrest of a former commissioner of the state, Engineer Idris Wada Saleh over an alleged N1billion fraud.

The anti-graft boss had while appearing on a Trust TV programme penultimate week vowed to reopen the investigation against Ganduje over the controversial videos allegedly showing the ex-governor stuffing the pocket of his free flowing dress with wads of US dollar bills allegedly received as kickbacks from contractors, an allegation the ex-governor has vehemently denied.

Rimingado, however, revealed that the commission has formally commenced the investigation and that it has received and is currently analysing the forensic reports on the videos.

“We have formally reopened the investigation and we have made several inroads. There is no extant court order barring us from the steps we are taking, which is investigation contrary to what some people want the public to believe,” he said.

He also revealed that the commission has written a letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seek partnership in the investigation and possible prosecution of the former governor and while it has not receive any feedback from the EFCC, the state anti-graft commission will continue with its investigation and welcome the EFCC and other investigating agencies should they decide to collaborate with it.

On the arrested former commissioner, the anti-graft boss said its preliminary investigation has monumental fraud to the tune N1billion on the guise of repairing some metropolitan roads few weeks to the end of the past administration.

He said the ex-commissioner, who was also Managing Director, Kano Road Maintenance Agency (KARMA) was arrested alongside the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mustapha Madaki Huguma as well as the director of finance, director of research and planning of the Bureau late Monday.

He said the money in question was said to have been withdrawn in three tranches, paid into account of three companies on April 25th and that the civil servants arrested alongside the ex-commissioner have allegedly made confessional statement confirming that they were pressured by the ex-commissioner to approve the release of the funds despite being skeptical of the legality of the process.

“The Due Process office said the certificate of no objection was issued because Kano Road Maintenance Agency said the rehabilitation of the roads would be carried out through direct labour but the papers submitted read otherwise,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Kano has ordered the remand of the former commissioner in the custody of the anti-graft Commission for 12 days pending the conclusion of investigation.

He was brought before the court Tuesday evening on a two-count charge bordering on false information and cheating.

The prosecutor, Salisu Tahir, an Assistant Director at PCACC, told the court that sometimes in 2023 the defendant released the sum of N1 billion to Arafat Construction Company, No Stone Construction Company and Multi Resources to rehabilitate 30 roads in the metropolis that were not carried out. He applied for the remand of the accused person for 14 days.

But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The defence counsel, Mustapha Idris, urged the court to grant the defendant bail pursuant to section 35(6) and 36(5) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

But ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Tijjani Sale-Minjibir, ordered the remand of the defendant in PCACC custody for 12 days and ordered that he be put under good condition.

He adjourned the matter until July 14 for ruling on the bail application.

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