The Kano State Government has revoked three contracts awarded to Tiamin Multi Services Ltd, a company belonging to Aminu Mohammed. Mr Mohammed is believed to be the contractor behind the videos showing the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving money from contractors.
The three projects were worth N1.6 billion.
The state commissioner of information, Mohammed Garba, announced the cancellation at a widely reported press briefing on Friday, on the resolutions of the State Executive Council.
The state government gave “non-performance” as the reason behind revocation, which affected Tiamin and one other company, FNL Engineering Limited. It is unclear if the second company is also linked to Mr Mohammed.
Last year, an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, published a series of videos showing Mr Ganduje collecting wads of dollar bills at different times believed to be kick-backs from contracts awarded by the state government.
Findings by this newspaper indicate that Tiamin’s managing director, Mr Mohammed, was the one who filmed the videos while delivering the cash to the governor at different times.
Mr Mohammed however declined to answer PREMIUM TIMES inquiry on his role in the sting operation.
However, a senior official in the company, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening but declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak by his boss, confirmed that Mr Mohammed was indeed the unseen face in the infamous Ganduje videos.
He said the cancellation is not unconnected with the decision of Mr Mohammed to blow the whistle on Mr Ganduje’s alleged misconduct.
Ironically, one of the projects by Tiamin that was revoked by the government, dualisation of Kofar Dawanau-Dandinshe-Kwanar Madugu was mentioned in one of the bribe-taking videos among those the contractors needed the governor’s intervention for payment.
Mr Ganduje was heard promising to talk to the state’s Accountant General on the outstanding payments.
The other two projects by the same contractor revoked by the government are roads linking different parts of Bichi and Fagge local government areas.
Mr Garba said the road projects in Bichi and Fagge were awarded on August 2, 2017 and November 13, 2017 with completion period of four months and 14 months respectively.
He said the contracts were revoked based on the contractors’ inability to complete the projects despite collecting respective advance payments of N204 million and N96 million.
Mr Ganduje is enmeshed in the bribe-taking scandal in spite of his denial and his suit against the news platform and its publisher, Jaafar Jaafar.
A probe into the scandal by the Kano State House of Assembly was also stalled in November by a high court of Kano State at the instance of Mr Ganduje.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed resentment over the misconduct as captured in the videos.
He was reported to have made references to it at a meeting with Nigerian community in Paris last year, and at a meeting of his party’s campaign council penultimate week.
On Thursday, Mr Buhari re-echoed the dilemma he expressed at the party meeting on the irony of campaigning for Mr Ganduje with the allegation still around the governor’s head.
Mr Buhari mocked the governor for going to the extent of receiving the bribes personally and “smiling”. He said he hoped the issue would be cleared before his scheduled campaign visit to Kano and suggested the videos could have been doctored.