The Kano State Commissioner for Rural and Community Development, Musa Iliyasu-Kwankwaso has defended the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on bribery video saga, saying collecting kickbacks is normal in government.
Speaking in a programme, titled: Jagoran Gwamnati a Karkara, aired on Freedom Radio in Kano on Sunday, Mr Iliyasu-Kwankwaso said, though it is illegal to collect certain percentage to award contract, the practice is rampant from federal up to the local government level.
“There is nothing new in this. Who asked the contractors to give the money to the governor?” he asked. The commissioner challenged the contractors to come out publicly to claim that they paid 15 to 25% before they were awarded contracts.
“Since the three years of this administration, the contractors have been giving the kickbacks, why did they fail to claim that they must pay 15 to 25% before they were awarded contracts until now?
“I challenge the contractors to come out and say that they must pay the percentage before they receive contracts. This is just blackmail to the person of Ganduje.
“This kind of percentage, though it is not legal, but it is rampant in every level of government, from federal up to the local government level. It is nothing new,” he stressed.
He then challenged the authenticity of the clip, saying it was doctored. “This kind of video clip is normally doctored. Some politicians like Ibrahim Shekarau, Bindow, governor of Adamawa State among others, are all victims of this illicit practice. Let them continue to release even thousand of the video clips, so what?,” he said.
Mr Ganduje has appeared in a trove of video clips verified by graphics experts receiving bribe, amounting to about $5million from contractors in the state.
Multiple contractors who spoke with DAILY NIGERIAN on the condition of anonymity said the governor personally receives from 15 to 25 percent kickbacks for every project executed in the state.
The sting operation to capture the governor on camera began two years ago when one of the contractors agreed with DAILY NIGERIAN request to plant spy camera on his kaftan lapel while offering the bribe.
During about 10 months efforts to capture the bribe giving/taking scenes, the governor’s face and body were clearly captured in nine clips, while six others did not clearly reveal the governor’s face. About $5m dollars were delivered to the governor during the sting operation.