Ted Odogwu, Kano
The Publisher of the Daily Nigerian online medium, Mr Jafar Jafar, on Thursday, appeared before the Kano State House of Assembly Investigative Committee on the alleged $5m bribery scandal against the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.
The publisher admitted that he erred for not contacting officials of the state government before releasing the controversial video clips.
While responding to a question from the Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Muktar, on whether or not he attempted “balancing his story” before publication, Jafar said, “I did not meet or contact 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, who is someone I know, gave me the video clips.
“He told me that Governor Ganduje is fond of collecting bribes of between 15 and 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 rigidly follow the rigours of the profession.
“He captured 15 clips, nine of them showed the governor’s face, while 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 added, “We invited officials of the Amnesty International, who certified the video.”
When asked for the identity of the whistle-blower, Jafar said, “In the spirit of universal principles of confidentiality, we cannot disclose our source.”
However, Dan Agundi, who chaired the committee, said Jafar would be invited for further questioning, insisting that the committee would want to have a direct contact with the said whistle-blower, whose identity would not be made public.
Jafar was accompanied to the proceedings by two lawyers, Isaac Ambode and Adam Bashir, who tendered a written statement and four Compact Discs, where the video clips were downloaded before the committee.