Jaafar Jaafar, the publisher of Daily Nigerian, an online medium that released video clip portraying Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano state receiving bribes from contractors has bagged 2018 Integrity Award for being recognized as anti-corruption champion of the year.
Tagged ‘2018 Integrity Awards’, the award was organised by Youth Alive Foundation, YAF, a duly registered non-governmental organization working to provide a platform that harnesses and nurtures young people through informed, innovative and value-driven approaches for personal, community and national development.
With funding from UKAID through DFID, Nigeria’s support to Anti-corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) program, YAF is leading a consortium of partners to implement the Strengthening Youth Participation Against Corruption project (YPAC).
In the words of the organisers, Mr Jaafar deserves the award for being considered as a man of integrity because of his doggedness and bravery for exposing corrupt practices irrespective of who is involved.
The Head of Programmes YAF, Usen Asanga said “Jaafar acclaims his conscience as being his greatest role models in the profession and believes in the power of investigative journalism as a means to ensure the truth is on earth and leaders are put to task.
“As part of interventions under the YPAC project, YAF is working with stakeholders across sectors to revitalize integrity, good character and other national values as a counterculture or new norm.
“It is against this background that YAF organised the Integrity Awards to identify and celebrate deserving citizens and groups who have made outstanding contributions in terms of exemplary acts of integrity, and other inspiring contributions to the fight against corruption in Nigeria, via awards.
“The goal and inherent intention of integrity Awards is not only to reshape norms that sustain corruption, but also to build a new culture and consciousness that highlights integrity, selflessness and patriotism as hallmarks of national growth, development and progress.”
Commending the organisers for recognising him for the award, Jaafar Jaafar added that as a Journalist he had played his part in exposing corrupt practices and called other stakeholders to take it up.
“While I must commend the organiser for this honour, I must state that the role of a journalist ends at exposing ills in the society while other arms of govrernment, especially law enforcement agencies and judiciary should take it up and play their parts to the conclusion,” he said.
Other awardees at the event included retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo-Salami; founder of Brekete Family FM station, Ahmed Isah; Freedom Radio presenter, Nasir Zango; an FRSC officer, Sikiru A.Aduloju, Bayero University Kano lecturer, Malam Mu’azu Yusif, Nigerian Police officer, CSP Francis Osagie Erhabor and an activist Soji Apampa.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over “failure to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, and/or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations of bribery against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, as contained in the widely circulated video clips allegedly showing Mr Ganduje receiving bribe.”
The organisation also sought protection for the journalist, Jaafar Jaafar, who reportedly published the video clips.
However, SERAP said since the receipt of its letter and to date, President Buhari has failed to grant its requests. Also, a Kano State high court last week stopped the Kano State House of Assembly from investigating the $5 million bribery allegation against Mr Ganduje.
Consequently, in the suit number FHC/L/CS/2055/18 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Buhari to immediately direct the investigation of allegations of bribery against Mr Ganduje.”
SERAP said: “The Applicant’s requests are not onerous but simply based on issues of public interest, good governance, transparency and accountability. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application, as the Respondent has nothing to lose if the application is granted.”
The suit is also seeking an order to compel Mr Buhari to “instruct appropriate security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the protection and guarantee the safety and security of journalist Jaafar Jaafar.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.