Publisher of Daily Nigerian newspaper, Jaafar Jaafar, has insisted on the authenticity of the videos wherein Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, was seen purportedly stuffing into his babanriga bundles of dollars said to have been received from public works contractors.
Speaking when he appeared before a Kano House of Assembly investigative panel on Thursday for cross-examination, Jaafar said the videos were not doctored, even as he refused to disclose the source (whistleblower).
The online newspaper had published multiple videos showing Ganduje allegedly receiving kickbacks from contractors on various occasions.
But the governor denied the allegations, saying it was the handwork of political opponents.
The Kano assembly subsequently set up a committee to investigate the allegations.
At the committee’s sitting on Thursday, Jaafar said the videos were confirmed to be authentic by various experts.
He also told of how a contractor had informed him of the Governor’s habit of “receiving kickbacks” from every contractor in the state. The publisher said the following:
“The DAILY NIGERIAN made a series of publications pertaining to the receipt of several videos of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje collecting of bribe/kickbacks from some contractors in Kano State.
“Consequent upon the publications, we received an invitation dated October 18, 2018 with reference number KNHA/ADM/VOL .I/04 from the Kano State House of Assembly requesting us to appear before it in the conduct of its constitutional functions as contained in Section 129 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The invitation letter also requested that we submit a written statement containing the incidents pertaining to the investigation.
“Below is the narration of our understanding of the events as it relates to the videos.
“More than two years ago, a contractor friend of mine complained to me that the governor had been receiving kickbacks, ranging from 15 to 25 percent, for every project executed in the state from contractors.
“We then agreed to plant spy cameras on his kaftan lapel so that he can capture the brazen act in hard evidence. He captured at least 15 clips, nine of which fully showed the governor’s face, body and hands collecting bundles of dollars.
“In the case the video clips in question, our in-house technical expert, the editor-in-chief and editorial adviser certified that the videos were original and not doctored contents.
“Experts from Amnesty International Nigeria, BBC and PREMIUM TIMES also watched the clips and certified their authenticity before we went to press.
“The first video was published on October 14, 2018 comprising two clips that occurred on two different dates as shown on the videos themselves. The video showed the governor receiving bribe from a contractor in foreign currency specifically the monies were United States Dollar denominated. The video also showed his Excellency tucking these monies under his flowing gown and putting them inside an envelope.
“We are willing to share the content of the video without any form of editing to assist the committee in its investigation and to share the full clips of the others that were published to the Committee in the cause of the performance of their legislative function.
“We thank the Committee for deeming it appropriate to invite us to make representations before it in respect of this matter,” the journalist said.