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Kano crisis: Intrigues, twists as court affirms Ganduje’s sack

The political rivalry between Abba Yusuf, current governor of Kano State and his predecessor, Abdullahi Ganduje, took a new twist on Wednesday as a Kano State High Court affirmed the latter’s suspension as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The court in an ex parte order affirmed the suspension of Ganduje and restrained him from parading himself as the National Chairman, as well as a member of the party.

The court also ordered, that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee, NWC, of APC.

The order followed an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad Esq on behalf of two executive members of APC Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa local government area.

They included the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani and the legal adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs) who were part of the nine ward executive members who suspended Ganduje two days ago.

DAILY POST reported that nine members of the Ganduje ward announced the suspension of the APC National Chairman over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State government.

The nine APC executive members said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit in which he complained over allegation of corruption charges against the former Governor, urging the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Ganduje’s alleged suspension was announced by the ward’s legal adviser, Halliru Gwanzo, while addressing newsmen in Kano on Monday.

Gwanzo accused the former governor of “gross misconduct and misappropriation of public funds during his administration in Kano,” citing allegations of bribery against Ganduje by the Kano state government as the reason for the suspension.

He said: “We resolved to pass a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman of the party due to his inability to clear his name from allegations of corruption, particularly the ‘dollar video’ that went viral.

“The APC leaders in Ganduje Ward are worried that the party is being subjected to unnecessary embarrassment from the rival New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) over unsubstantiated allegations of corruption levelled against Ganduje’s administration.

“Ganduje ward leaders deem it fit to suspend the national chairman to enable him concentrate on the litigation and other hanging issues so that he could appropriately clear his image and that of his family.

“President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the ongoing fight against corruption has made it necessary for Ganduje to deal with the seeming baggage of corruption hanging on his neck as it is already denting the reputation of the APC-led federal government.

“We, the leaders of the APC in Ganduje Ward, after thorough deliberations, decided to suspend the chairman to give him time to clear his name.

“Since Ganduje has been summoned to answer for these accusations, we are being proactive as it could potentially affect the reputation of our political party.”

However, a short-lived reprieve came to Ganduje’s way when the suspension was countered by the Kano State Working Committee (SWC) of the APC, which slammed drastic measures against those who announced the suspension.

The state chapter of the party described the suspension of the National Chairman by Ganduje Ward of the party as illegal, null and void.

It also announced immediate suspension of the Ward Executives for their action, which it termed as a manipulation from outside.

Also, the APC national headquarters at Abuja said Ganduje remains the party’s national chairman.

The spokesman of the APC at the national level, Felix Morka, who spoke on behalf of the party, described the move as “criminal” and insisted that Ganduje remains the party’s chairman.

“We urge our Party faithful and the general public to disregard reports of the suspension of the National Chairman who is, and remains, the National Chairman of our great Party.

“The purported suspension was the devious act of a group of impersonators of Ward officials out to cause mischief and create confusion in the otherwise peaceful Ganduje Ward chapter of our Party.

“This act procured by officials of the ruling NNPP in Kano is part of the despicable program of political persecution launched by the administration of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf against Dr. Ganduje, a former Governor of Kano state.

“The purported suspension is downright criminal, and of no effect whatsoever. The legitimate Executive Committee of the Ganduje Ward has since denounced the action and reaffirmed Dr. Ganduje as a bonafide member of the Party in the Ward, and in good standing,” Morka said in a Tuesday statement.

However, the party’s stand might likely change following the recent order by the Kano High court affirming Ganduje’s suspension.

Before now, the ex-governor’s camp had accused the state government of masterminding the suspension.

Reacting to his suspension and subsequent affirmation by the court, Ganduje claimed that the move to suspend him from office was orchestrated to starve President Bola Tinubu of Kano votes ahead of the 2027 election.

He made the revelation when he received a delegation of 27 executive members of his ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

Ganduje told the delegation that his investigation has revealed that the arrows of persecution against him were coming from the camps of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, and the Governor of Kano, Abba Yusuf.

He said: “When we first heard the news, we knew it was not true. But we had to exercise patience to affirm those behind it.

“After a formal investigation, it was found that those who met with officials of the Kano State government were not executive members either at the ward, state or even members of our party.

“These lies are peddled by the NNPP and the governor of Kano State to destroy our party because they are so concerned that during their first year in office, the people have seen the destruction of the economy of Kano down to the increase in political violence and also the destruction of political morality.

“With all these put together, they have started seeing the failure of their party. They are more concerned that we might take over the government from their party in 2027.”

DAILY POST recalls that Yusuf, who emerged governor of the state under the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, in 2023, had on assumption of office accused Ganduje of misappropriating public funds and allocating plots of land to some members of his immediate family.

But speaking on the matter, a Kano-based legal practitioner, Wangida Isa, said Ganduje should honourably resign as the National Chairman of the APC till he clears the corruption allegations against him by the state government.

He dismissed claims that the NNPP planned Ganduje suspension through some APC executives at the ward level.

The lawyer spoke on Tuesday when appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s programme.

Isa said that ward executives were legally empowered to sack any member of the party, insisting that the allegations against the ex-governor were “heavy offences”.

He also stated that Ganduje has not been exonerated as the court said he should be tried at a federal court because the money laundering offences levelled against him by the state government was a federal offence.

Fresh from the suspension, the anticipated arraignment of Ganduje was stalled on Wednesday due to the Kano State Government’s inability to serve criminal charges against him.

The move to arraign him has created palpable fear and uncertainty in Kano.

According to the court documents, Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat Ganduje, his son, Abdullahi Umar and five others, were slated to face eight counts including $413,000 bribery allegation, as well as the alleged diversion and misappropriation of funds amounting to N1.38bn.

The state government said it had assembled 15 witnesses to testify against them.

DAILY POST also reported that the Kano State Anti-Corruption and Public Complaints Commission had announced new corruption charges and maladministration against Ganduje.

The Chairman of the Commission, Muhuyi Magaji, who announced the development, said investigations uncovered the diversion of N51.3 billion from local government funds to unauthorised individuals during Ganduje’s tenure.

Magaji alleged that the Ganduje administration withdrew N1 billion monthly from state coffers before its tenure ended in May 2023, purportedly for road renovation, but diverted to Bureau de Change operators instead.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday, Magaji also cited a case involving N4 billion transferred to an agricultural company from Kano’s consolidated revenue account.

“What is happening now is a tip of the iceberg. As I am talking to you, we are investigating a case whereby N51.3bn local government funds were directly taken from the government coffers (and) sent to other individuals, and we traced it to people.

“We have filed a series of cases. We have a case whereby N1bn in April last year (2023) was removed from government coffers under the allocation of renovating 30 roads in the metropolis, and it was taken away and sent to Bureau de Change.

“We have a case of N4bn whereby it was sent from the consolidated revenue account of Kano State to an agricultural company. All these cases are before the court,” he said.

Magaji said though he was appointed by Ganduje to head the agency, he won’t hesitate to prosecute alleged corruption by the immediate-past administration in the state.

According to him, he started probing Ganduje when he was governor of Kano State.

The APC national chairman is not new to allegations of corruption.

Recall that as governor of Kano State, a video clip allegedly showed Ganduje stuffing his pockets with bales of dollars suspected to be kickback from contractors.

The video was allegedly released to the public in October 2018 by the Publisher of Daily Nigerian, Mr. Ja’afar Ja’afar.

Recently, Ganduje had claimed the Kano State Government does not have the legal rights to prosecute him for the alleged bribery of $413,000 and N1.38 billion fraud.

He was reacting to the decision of the Kano State Government to file criminal charges against him.

Ganduje spoke in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Edwin Olofu.

The ex-governor maintained that it was only the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that could charge him for the alleged offences.

“In their desperate attempt to malign me and my family, they either forgot or probably cannot conduct themselves by the dictates of the law.

“They failed to take judicial notice of the recent pronouncement of the Federal High Court in Kano, which ruled that the so-called offence I am being accused of is a federal offence that can only be prosecuted by the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” he said.

Meanwhile, a former National Vice Chairman, North West of the APC, Salihu Lukman, has called on President Bola Tinubu and other party leaders to revisit issues surrounding the disagreement between two former governors of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Ganduje.

Lukman in a statement issued in Abuja said, “Being progressives require honesty, which given current political reality we must accept that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his NNPP has a stronger support base in Kano State.”

“Noting that Senator Kwankwaso was in our party up to 2018 and acknowledging that between 1999 and 2019 both Senator Kwankwaso and Dr. Ganduje worked together, we need to revisit issues surrounding their disagreement,” Lukman said.

Speaking to DAILY POST, the Kano State Chairman of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Hashimu Dungurawa, said that the State government has no hand in the ill fated suspension of the ex-governor from the APC.

Dungurawa, however, said the APC ward executives that announced the suspension of the APC National Chairman did a good job.

According to him, they were bonafide members of the APC and not NNPP, adding that their records were with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, including the party’s headquarters.

Dungurawa further urged the APC to purge itself of individuals like Ganduje, saying his types were creating a bad image for the party.

He said: “That allegation is not true. All I know is that the executive members of APC in Ganduje ward have done a very good job by suspending their principal for two main reasons.

“One- there’s an investigation going on in Kano State. For the State to be sure, they have set up a body of inquiry on him because of his bad governance and alleged fraud.

“Two, the people of Ganduje Ward were accusing him (Ganduje) of not paying his dues as a party member, he wasn’t doing his party contribution.

“And there were allegations on him on the video that’s going round that he was syphoning money, dollars into his pocket.

“You know as a great people, people that came from a very high class family, they were very bitterly disturbed about fraud allegations against their principal.

“So it has been disturbing them and they have been having sleepless nights. That is why this committee of inquiry was set up by this government and said ‘let us probe this man so that we can have peace of mind’.

“These people that announced this suspension, they are bonafide members of APC; their names are in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; it’s there in the party’s state headquarters; it’s there in the party’s headquarters in Abuja.

“If you go and get the certified true copy, you will get all the names they have mentioned. It’s the party that suspended him because of his bad attitude and action in the party.

“We in NNPP are doing a good job. If the APC wants to make their party great and clean in the eyes of the people, they have to remove Ganduje’s type from the party, so that the party will look innocent and decent, and people will rush into the party.”

When asked about Ganduje’s statement that Kano State Government does not have the legal rights to prosecute him for the alleged bribery, Dungurawa said: “That’s a lie. Did he offend the attorney general of the federation?

“He offended the Kano State people. And the governor of Kano State has the right to checkmate and call anybody or authority for any investigation.

“Nobody can stop him from doing that. So Ganduje offended people of Kano State. People of Kano State wanted him to be probed. So the government of Kano State was duty bound to call anybody that’s highly wanted.

“We cannot see the statement as an issue rather Ganduje must come to Kano on 17th and before the committee. We have to probe him. We are in charge.”

Meanwhile, efforts by DAILY POST to speak to Abdullahi Abbas, Chairman Kano State APC were not successful.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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