The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has confirmed the authenticity of the video showing the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, allegedly receiving millions of dollars as bribe.
PUNCH gathered that forensic analysis of the video showing Ganduje receiving bribe from a contractor indicated that the video was not digitally cloned as claimed by some of his loyalists.
Sources said the EFCC which had one of the best forensic laboratories in the country, had subjected the viral video to various forensic analyses all of which affirmed that the governor indeed received the dollar bribe.
It was, however, gathered that the probe might have been stalled by political pressure on the commission to soft-pedal on the investigation in order not to jeopardise President Muhammadu Buhari’s electoral chances in Kano State.
A source said, “The commission has decided to hold the breaks on the investigation to avoid jeopardising the President’s electoral chances in Kano where he has his largest fan base and political supporters.
“The fact is that the case against Ganduje is as good as dead; If he wins re-election, which is likely, he can’t be prosecuted until 2023 after his tenure and his trial would also be determined by whoever wins in 2023. If the All Progressives Congress wins the presidential poll in 2023, they would continue protecting him. So, for now, the governor can’t be prosecuted until after 2023 and that is if the APC loses power at the centre.”
Another source noted that the President needed Kano votes to boost his chances of getting a second term in this month’s elections, adding that the EFCC would not want to rock the boat at this point in time.
He said, “You must have heard the President tacitly defending the governor when he wondered why Ganduje had to collect the money himself when he could have sent an aide to take the bribes on his behalf.
“When asked about the video by Nigerians at a forum, Buhari described Ganduje as a man of integrity, indicating that he approved of him and the governor has also been boasting that he will deliver five million votes for Buhari’s re-election.
“This is called quid pro quo; you protect me, I work for your re-election. The EFCC as an agency under the executive has to read in between the lines and tread cautiously.”
The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, could not be reached for reaction as calls to his phone rang out. He had yet to respond to a text message on the reported suspension of the Ganduje probe.