President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that he could not speak about the bribery allegations against Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Mr Buhari, at a town hall appearance on Wednesday night, said Mr Ganduje’s matter has become a subject of judicial and legislative proceedings, and speaking about it on air could be subjudice.
The president also said he did not know whether the videos were manipulated.
The town-hall was moderated by Kadaria Ahmed, and broadcast live on NTA.
Mr Ganduje was captured receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in a series of videos published last year.
Daily Nigerian, which obtained the videos, said Mr Ganduje was recorded by public works contractors, who had frequently complained about the governor’s penchant for bribe-taking.
Mr Ganduje strongly denied all allegations of fraud, suggesting that the videos were ‘cloned’, a denial mocked across the country.
PREMIUM TIMES independently confirmed the videos were real.
Some supporters of the governor got a court order stopping the Kano State Assembly from continuing an inquiry it had launched on the matter.
Mr Buhari on Wednesday said the decision of the House to investigate the scandal and the suit instituted “helped” him and had made it impossible for him to speak publicly about it.
“The State Assembly is investigating and they have the mandate to deal with it and they have also gone to court, so I decided not to talk about it,” Mr Buhari said.
President Buhari admitted he had seen the videos, but quipped, “Does Ganduje have to take the money himself, smiling?”
He said, “The system has given me some relief, it is in the court and the Assembly.
Mr Buhari, however, said he hoped to get a better understanding of the matter and possibly a conclusive response when he visits Kano to campaign in the coming days.
He said he hoped either the state assembly or the courts will take a decision on the case before he campaigns in the city.
The president had been asked if he would publicly identify with Mr Ganduje despite the scandal.
“I hope by the time I go to Kano for my campaign there will be some answers from the court or the Assembly,” he said.