The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Contact for Transparency International (TI), expresses concern over the committee set up by the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate the recent $5million bribery allegation attributed to the State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as displayed in a widely shared video clip.
While we commend the effort and ability of the Kano StateHouse of Assembly at setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged bribery, we are worried that theoutcome of such investigation would not command public trust and credibility respect except if handled by independent and competent ICT professionals with track record of integrity.
We are confident an independent inquiry outside the instrumentality of Kano State governance structure will to a large extent assure Nigerians of fearless fact-findings on the true nature of the video clip in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s readiness to combat corruption within and outside the ruling party.We must, therefore, reiterate that anything short of an independent investigation would seem stage-managed before the public.
We are also not unaware of the infringement of human rights, intimidation and harassment of the whistle-blowers and citizens who stepped out to peacefully protest thisallegation against the Governor. We find this disheartening and reiterates our persistent demand for the adoption of a Whistle-blower Protection Law. Citizens’ right to freedom of association and expression should in no way be muzzled in this issue.
We call on the President and the Inspector General of Police to guarantee the rights of the people for a peaceful protest and ensure lives are secured.
We call for the Governor to immediately step aside to allow high level transparency, accountability and rule of law in the process of the investigation and prevent possible influence of the “fact-findings”. This will guarantee fairness and discourage undue interference in the investigation.
We call on the National Assembly and anti-corruption agencies to live up to the expectations and trust placed in them by Nigerians in ensuring perpetrators of corrupt practice are brought to book, while guaranteeing adequate protection for whistle-blowing effort through enabling policies implementation and transition into legislation.
We also call on the Ruling Party to stay silent on the issue if the party is really going to be believed that it is fighting corruption.
CISLAC remains committed to monitoring the government at all levels to ensure that she fulfills her promises to the citizens of our great country.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC