Justice A.T. Badamasi of Kano State High Court on Thursday ultimately stopped the Kano State House of Assembly Investigative Committee from further investigating the $5m bribery allegations involving Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The court had earlier ordered the State House of Assembly to maintain the status quo ante pending the determination of the originating summons filed by the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, Barrister Mohammed Zubair.
Mr. Zubair and his group had sued Kano State House of Assembly, Chairman of the Investigative Committee on the bribery allegation against Ganduje (Baffa Babba Danagundi) and the state Attorney-General, challenging the constitutionality of the House investigating the bribery allegation, which is a criminal case.
The plaintiff contended that Kano State House of Assembly lacked the competence to probe the criminal allegations against Ganduje, averring that it only has the powers to make laws, establishing an anti-graft agency which, by law, can investigate such matter.
Kano state Attorney-General, Ibrahim Muktar, who is also the Third Defendant in the litigation, supported the plaintiff’s position.
Despite the argument by counsel to the defendants, Barrister Mohammed Waziri, that the Kano State House of Assembly Investigative Panel engaged in a fact-finding mission, and not the investigation of criminal allegation, Justice Badamasi ruled in favour of the plaintiff on Thursday.
He held that the power of investigation by the state House of Assembly, as contained in Section 128 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “is neither absolute, nor at large. It is restricted by sub-section two of the same Section,”