President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, enjoyed immunity from prosecution as a sitting governor.
He also noted that under Nigerian laws, an accused remained innocent until proven guilty by the courts.
Besides, the President noted that the alleged dollar bribes Ganduje was seen stuffing in his pockets in a video widely circulated on social media, had become a matter already in a law court.
Buhari was reacting to criticisms in some quarters that he shielded his political associates like Ganduje among others, from prosecution in the face of glaring evidence.
Only on Thursday, the President, at an All Progressives Congress rally in Kano, raised up the hand of Ganduje for his second term bid before supporters.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, the President dismissed criticisms suggesting that his association with Ganduje was a smear on his anti-corruption stance.
The statement said some high-profile persons, including a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a former state governor, were being prosecuted for corruption.
The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, was also cited as another government official serving administrative leave to pave the way for investigation into corruption allegations levelled against him.
“Despite some of the suspects being close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation, administrative suspensions and prosecution”, the statement added.
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Specifically, on Ganduje, the Presidency said, “as a sitting governor, (he) enjoys immunity from prosecution in his own right.
“Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“In the circumstances, the matter is in court and the President has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House of Assembly, which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with the allegations against Ganduje.