$5 Million Bribery Saga: A Nervous Jafar Goofs Before State Assembly Investigative Panel
A visibly nervous Mr. Jafar Jafar, publisher of the Daily Nigerian online medium on Thursday appeared before the Kano state House of Assembly Investigative Committee on the $5 million bribery allegation against Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
He was question by the members of the state assembly and the commissioner of justice. While answering questions from Kano state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Muktar who asked whether the Daily Nigerian attempted to “balancing his story” before publication. A nervous Jafaar said no. Jafar told the Investigative Committee that, “I did not meet any government official to balance the story.”
When asked by the chairman of the seven-man Investigative Panel, Baffa Babba Dan Agundi, on the source of his information, Jafar said, “a whistle blower, someone I know, gave me the video clips.
“He told me Governor Ganduje is in the habit of collecting bribes from 15 to 30 per cent from contractors executing various projects in the state.
“I told the whistle blower that we need evidence before we publish the story; and that we have to follow the rigors of the profession.
“He captured 15 clips, nine of them showed the Governor’s face, six did not show the Governor’s face. We initially released one which did not have the conversation, and later we released the second one.”
Insisting on the authenticity of the video clips, Jafar claimed that, “we invited the officials of the Amnesty International who certified the video.”
When further asked the identity of the whistle blower, Jafar categorically said, “in the spirit of universal principles of confidentiality, we cannot disclose our source.”
However, Dan Agundi who said Jafar would be invited for further questioning insisted that the Committee would want to have talks with the said whistle blower who identity would not be made public.
Dan Agundi added that, “we will invite Jafar and his lawyers again; we will give the Governor’s side the right to analyse the video.
“We shall also bring an independent experts not known to Jafar and the Governor to also analyse the video. We will invite all the parties and our own independent experts to look at this issue. We are here to ensure that justice is done to everybody involved in this issue.”
Jafar, however, said he will have to consult with his solicitors to ensure if providing the whistle blower before the Committee is within the ambits of the law.
However, Jafar who was accompanied by two lawyers, Bar. Isaac Ambode and Bar. Adam Bashir also tendered a written statement and four Compact Discs where the video clips were downloaded before the Committee.
Jafar also insisted that the video clips he released on his online news platform were not doctored, adding that he received the video clips on September this year, but have had the privilege of viewing them more than a year, before releasing them on October 14, this year.
Jafar who arrived 1:13 minutes behind schedule was escorted to the House of Assembly complex by a team of armed police men.
Jafar and his lawyers, however, confessed to the Committee that they were impressed over the level of security arrangements put in place for their safety.
Meanwhile, A.A. Umar and Co, a law firm who initially agreed to offer legal services to Jafar Jafar, publisher and the Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Nigerian, withdrew their services in a letter sent to the Committee, citing “personal reasons.”
To this end, thousands of people were sighted outside the Audu Bako secretariat carrying placards reading, “Jafar Jafar is a serial liar,” “four plus four equals to eight, we must vote for Ganduje in 2019,” among others.