Hasfat Ganduje

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested the wife of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Hafsat Ganduje, over a bribery and land fraud case reported by her son.

The arrest comes weeks after her failure to honour the anti-graft agency’s invitation, Premium Times reported.

Hafsat had earlier been invited to report to the EFCC’s Abuja headquarters on September 13, but she did not appear and the EFCC then threatened to arrest her.

Sources close to her later said she travelled to the UK at the time to attend the graduation ceremony of her son, according to Premium Times.

Investigators are questioning Mrs Ganduje over allegations relating to land fraud in a petition by her own son, Abdualzeez Ganduje.

A person, who has the knowledge of the arrest but asked not to be identified, said “she was arrested this (Monday) evening.”

Mrs Ganduje was still at EFCC headquarters as of 6a.m. on Monday, this newspaper learnt.

Abdulazeez had dragged his mum, Hafsat Ganduje, to the EFCC, sources familiar with the matter said, suggesting a pattern of corruptly using family access to power for private enrichment.

Governor Ganduje, according to Premium Times, had previously been involved in a corruption-related scandal. He has struggled to untangle himself from the public perception that he is a corrupt public servant since 2018 when Daily Nigerian published a series of videos that showed the governor collecting money from a government contractor.

According to sources who saw Abdulazeez’s petition, he reported that he was approached by a property developer to help facilitate the acquisition of some plots of land in Kano with some hundreds of thousands of US dollars and at least 35 million naira as “facilitation commission”.

Abdulazeez said he paid the sum in dollars to his mother.

“But three months later, (the property developer) discovered that the plots of land he wanted and had paid the first family for had been allocated to other buyers and he then requested to be refunded,” one source told Premium Times.