BREAKING: Fresh Twist As El-Rufai Sues Kaduna Assembly Over ₦432bn Probe Report

The former governor, who was physically present at the court to file the case, argued that the
Ex-Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, (L) physically present in court with his lawyer to file a fundamental rights suit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly in Kaduna on Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has sued the Kaduna State House of Assembly over the latter’s claim that his eight-year administration allegedly siphoned ₦432bn leaving the state with huge debt liabilities.

El-Rufai filed a fundamenatal rights suit at Federal High Court in Kaduna against state House of Assembly on Wednesday.

The suit, filed by the ex-governor’s lawyer Abdulhakeem Mustapha, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, challenged the report of the Kaduna Assembly Committee which indicted El-Rufai for alleged corruption.

In the suit, El-Rufai asked the court to declare the report of the Assembly probe as null and void having not been given the opportunity of fair hearing over the allegations levelled against him and his administration by the committee.

Joined in the suit as respondents are the Kaduna State House of Assembly and state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.

Committee Recommends El-Rufai’s Prosecution
Earlier in June, the ad hoc committee set up by the state Assembly to investigate all finances, loans and contracts awarded under the El-Rufai administration submitted its report to the House.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Henry Zacharia, said most of the loans obtained under the El-Rufai’s administration were not used for the purpose for which they were obtained, while in some cases, due process was not followed in securing the loans.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Yusuf Liman, also said that a total ₦423 billion was allegedly siphoned by the El-Rufai’s administration leaving the state with huge liabilities.

The committee, therefore, recommended the investigation and prosecution of El-Rufai, and some members of his cabinet by security and anti-corruption agencies for alleged abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering.

The committee also recommended the immediate suspension of the Commissioner of Finance, Shizer Badda, who also served in the same capacity under the El-Rufai’s administration.

‘Scandalous Claims’
Responding, El-Rufai’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, affirmed the integrity of the El-Rufai government and dismissed as “scandalous”, the claims by the committee.

He said, “Malam Nasir El-Rufai is immensely proud of his record of governance and the legacy he left in Kaduna State. This record of consistently high performance in public and private office cannot be altered by any malicious effort to use the auspices of a state legislature for defamation and undeserved smears.

“Many of the officials who served in the El-Rufai government appeared before the ad-hoc committee because of their confidence in the quality of their service and the rectitude which they served Kaduna State. They were under no illusion that they were participating in a fair process. It was obvious that the ad hoc committee was merely going through the motions of an inquiry just to give some gloss to predetermined conclusions.

“It is sad to see such a shameful departure from any notion of decency and fairness by a state legislature. We dismiss with contempt the claims being peddled in connection with the report.

“Malam El-Rufai wishes to assure discerning Nigerians that he has served Kaduna State with integrity and to the best of his capacity, assisted by a hardworking and patriotic team. He complied with all extant laws in all his activities while he was the governor. This jaundiced probe should be disregarded as the politically motivated hatchet job it is.”

 

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