By Adebayo Komolafe
I will start by reiterating that I don’t know Ganduje, he doesn’t know me and I don’t care what happens to him, talk less of saving his political career.
I just watched the videos being circulated and I felt as someone with some investigative training, I am duty-bound to set the records straight and guide our gullible populace aright.
Setting the proper background:
For the benefit of those who do not know, it has become a norm for a Governor or any other high ranking government official to demand for, and collect his cut (commonly called 10%) from most major contracts he awards.
Virtually no contractor today rejects patronage on account of his objection to paying “10%”. They willingly and happily play ball, praying that more contracts will keep coming.
The methods of payment of “10%” vary.
1) It could be paid into a local or foreign account.
2) An agent or the beneficiary can travel outside for a rendezvous with the payer and collect the agreed amount.
3) A trusted ally can collect locally on behalf of the boss from the contractor.
4) The contractor can utilise the agreed sum for a project in favour of the boss, such as build a house, a factory, a road leading to achosen site, etc.
5) Most commonly, the sum is changed into the tidy size of the world’s favourite foreign currency, the US dollar, stacked in a handy bag and for safety and secrecy, the contractor personally takes it to the boss, drops it and leaves.
He will not sit and wait for the boss to count and confirm. They all know the rules; any shortage automatically cuts the contractor from future patronage.
Issues at stake:
1. In an interview, the editor who released the videos, Jafar Jafar said a contractor told him that Governor Ganduje is receiving bribes from contractors and is desirous to help expose him.
Ordinarily, when a contractor finds a demand objectionable, he simply declines to partake in the dirty deal by just withdrawing.
We all remember a multinational company that rejected a major contract in Lagos during the 1970’s.
2. The essence of secret recording is to hide the identity of the recorder, in order to save him from loss of patronage, victimisation, etc. In this case, if indeed Ganduje collected those dollars, he will easily recollect who his partner was in that film. So the essence of the secrecy is gone.
3. If Jafar’s contractor is conscientious, desirous of exposing a corrupt receiver, where was his conscience when he accepted the “dirty contract and its dirty terms”? Doesn’t he know that in the present circumstance, the giver is as guilty as the receiver?
4. By the way, $5 million dollars at N360 is N1.8 billion. Therefore N1.8 billion is 10% of N18 billion.
Has Ganduje ever awarded an N18 billion contract?
Common sense tells us that the annual budget of Kano State cannot accommodate a contract of this size and magnitude.
5. Jafar claims that Ganduje received $5 million cash as bribe.
Let us make a simple calculation:
There are 50,000 pieces of $100 bills in $5 million.
There are 500 wrappers of $10,000 in $5 million.
There are 100 bundles of $50,000 in $5 million.
The videos show a few wrappers and bundles of dollars being handed over to Ganduje, which is too far from the alleged sum. So where is the rest of the money? Remember, you never pay such bribes piecemeal.
Common sense tells us that no one can think of putting hundreds of bundles in his pockets or handy envelopes.
That is why such amounts are delivered in sizeable bags, which is not the case here.
6. What is the essence of the flute music on one of the videos? A spy assignment needs no adornment. It quickly delivers the message and goes. If the music was placed by the contractor, it means he was not eager to pass his message. If it was played by Jafar, it means he could have doctored the video. At any rate, why music in such a solemn case? Is it to add drama to a comedy, to add ridicule to humiliation?
7. On the video, the giver, speaking in Hausa, commands the Governor to stand up and he obeyed. The voice further directs him to hide the money in his pocket and he obliged.
He also ordered him to put the remaining cash in an envelope and he complied.
In all these, only the giver was talking and telling H.E. what to do and how. Oga never responded. It was like a zombie movie.
Haba ! Please try a little smartness in doing things. If you refer to my introduction, where I described the scenario of how top level bribe is paid, you will find that whoever authored those videos was poorly prepared. I think they couldn’t find a voice to match Ganduje’s, hence the music in one and the Governor’s total silence in the other.
8. During interview, Jafar was asked why he released only 2 out of 15 videos he claimed to hold. He replied that he is waiting for the appropriate time to release the rest.
For God’s sake, what is wrong with this fellow?
Only sitcoms and drama producers, wishing to keep their viewers in suspense, tell them to watch out for parts 2,3,4, etc.
Is Jafar turning such a top level national security issue into a game of “the longer you retain, the more you collect?”
9. I think the maker or makers of these videos wish to re-enact the Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola bribe-collecting video, but the blunder they made is, Femi set up Farouk, who fell into the trap headlong. Farouk was trailed to Femi’s house at 2am and he confessed receiving the amount. Security operatives were also involved and they gave official testimony. Why didn’t Jafar and his “patriotic” contractor friend include state undercover assistance? That would have authenticated the deal.
10. From available information, Ganduje has already filed a defamation of character suit against Jafar.
This means H.E. is ready for all allegations to be further laid bare before a court of law. Ordinarily, when a person is not sure of his position, he does not dare rush to court where no details are spared.
We can recall one Governor in the Northwest who was alleged to have bought a multibillion naira hotel in Lagos. He threatened the publisher of the news to recant or be sued. The paper reiterated its story and dared him to proceed. Nothing was heard from H.E. again and people reached their conclusions.
Like I said earlier, I am neither for nor against Ganduje. I just feel that we all have a duty to give true testimony even where we are not affected.
We should also know that having a facility does not entitle us to use it carelessly by hurting innocent persons, because our day of reckoning will surely come.