The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), which also acts as the National Contact for Transparency International (TI) is demanding that Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor o Kano State in Northwest Nigeria who is recorded in a video allegedly collecting a USD5m bribe should step aside from office to allow a credible investigation. CISLAC is saying in a statement in Abuja that such is the only guarantee for high level transparency, accountability and rule of law in the process of the investigation. “We must, therefore, reiterate that anything short of an independent investigation would seem stage-managed before the public”, says the NGO.
Although Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, CISLAC Executive Director who signed the statement commended the Kano State House of Assembly for setting up an adhoc committee to probe the allegation, he is worried that the outcome of such investigation would not command public trust and credibility respect as much as when done by independent and competent professionals with track record in that domain. CISLAC expresses confidence that only an independent inquiry outside of Kano State governance structures would assure Nigerians of the true nature of the video clip as well as conform to Federal Government’s declared intent to combat corruption throughout Nigeria.
Not only does CISLAC want the governor to step aside for transparent investigation, it also wants the ruling party to stay silent on the issue “if the party is really going to be believed to be fighting corruption”. It is equally calling on the National Assembly, (NASS) and anti-corruption agencies to live up to the expectations and trust placed on them by Nigerians in ensuring that perpetrators of corrupt practices are brought to book as well as guarantee adequate protection for whistle-blowing efforts through legislation and enabling policy implementation.
Finally, it is inviting President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police to guarantee the rights of the people for peaceful protest and security of lives, saying that CISLAC is not unaware of the intimidation and harassment of whistle-blowers and citizens who stepped out to peacefully protest this allegation against the governor. “We find this disheartening and reiterate our persistent demand for the adoption of a Whistle-blower Protection Law” because the right to freedom of association and expression should in no way be muzzled in this issue, said CISLAC which assures of its commitment to monitoring the government at all levels to ensure that they fulfill all promises to the citizens.