Alleged corruption: Ganduje’s immunity expired since May 29, Falana tells court

A fiery human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Kano that the immunity of the immediate-past governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, had expired since May 29.

On July 7, the court restrained the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, PCACC), Nigeria Police and six others from inviting, harassing or arresting Ganduje, family or any of his appointees who served under his administration, pending the hearing and determination of substantive originating motion.

Mr Ganduje, through his counsel, Matthew Burkaa SAN, filed a motion ex parte, dated July 7, on fundamental rights enforcement procedure Rules 2009 under Section 46 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

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Mr Ganduje was seeking the court to restrain PCACC from arresting, investigating and inviting him over the alleged bribe dollar video.

The respondents are the KNPCACC, Nigeria Police, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police Kano State, State Security Services and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Others are the Attorney General of the Federation and Attorney General of Kano state.

When the case came up for hearing, counsel to the applicant, Matthew Burkaa SAN, filed a further affidavit in response of the respondents counter affidavit.

He said the fundamental right suit was to protect the right of Mr Ganduje and also sought to protect his family members and political appointees.

“My Lord we are not saying Ganduje should not be invited or investigated, but rather do it according to law,” Mr Burkaa said.

But counsel to the PCACC, Femi Falana SAN, told the court that the applicant’s immunity has expired on May 29.

“We have filed 23 paragraph counter affidavit, four exhibits and a written address as our argument.

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“This case is a public interest litigation not personal. The applicant wants to use the order to protect his reputation and protect parties that are not before court,” he said.

Mr Falana said the court cannot protect the names of those who are not before the court.

“This court has no jurisdiction, this is a gaging suit.

“The PCACC invited the applicant to investigate alleged N1 billion theft. Therefore, if you are invited you must honour the invitation,” Mr Falana said.

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the exparte it earlier granted the applicant.

Counsel to Nigeria Police, Sunday Ekwe, and Counsel to the DSS, Mr I B Bulus, aligned themselves with the first respondent.

Counsel to Attorney General of Kano, Khalifa Hashim, also filed a three paragraph counter affidavit dated July 19, praying the court to dismiss the exparte.

Justice A M Liman adjourned the matter to September 22 for judgment.

NAN

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