By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano
Publisher of the online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar, which published the video clips showing Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, allegedly receiving $5 million bribe from contractors, Thursday appeared before the State House of Assembly committee investigating the matter.
Chairman of the committee set up by the House of Assembly, Bappa Babba Dan Agundi, gave Jaafar the floor to prove the validity of the video clips he published.
In the course of his appearance and during cross-examination, he vowed not to disclose the source of the video recording but said he was ready to swear by the Holy Qu’ran that the video was authentic.
Jaafar, who hung a copy of the Holy Qur’an on his shoulder, said he took the Holy book with him in anticipation of the fact that he would be asked to swear by the lawmakers.
He said: “I’m ready to swear by the Holy Qur’an if you want me to, because the report I published was nothing but the truth, and I should put it on record that I have nothing personal against Governor Ganduje, but doing what is right.
“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.
“Before Daily Nigerian published the stories, pictures or videos on its website, the editors subject them to rigors of verification to establish their authenticity or otherwise.
In the case of 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.”
He also talked about the timing of the recording, explaining that the first video was published on October 14, 2018, comprising two clips that occurred on two different dates as shown on the videos themselves.
According to him, the video showed the governor receiving bribe from a contractor in foreign currency, specifically United States Dollars.
”The video also showed His Excellency tucking these monies under his flowing gown and putting them inside an envelop,” Jaafar added.
He said his medium was willing to share the content of the video without any form of editing to assist the committee in its investigation.
He also promised to share the full clips of the videos already published to the committee in the course of the performance of their legislative function.
Jaafar thanked the committee for deeming it appropriate to invite him to make presentations before it, in respect of this matter.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice promised to be fair, irrespective of who was involved.
“The office of the AG is for anybody and not for Governor Abdullahi Ganduje,” he stated.