N432bn Probe: El-Rufai Drags Kaduna Lawmakers To Court


Determined to clear his name in the allegations of siphoning about N432 billion during his eight-year administration, leaving the state with huge debt liabilities, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai dragged the State House of Assembly to court

The former governor, who was physically present at the court to file the case, on Wednesday filed a fundamental rights suit at the Federal High Court in Kaduna against the state House of Assembly.

Acting through his counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mallam El-Rufai is challenging the report of the Kaduna Assembly Committee which indicted him of alleged corruption, maintaining that he was not given a fair hearing by the Assembly.

In his suit, El-Rufai asked the court to declare that by the provisions of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities and Other Related Matters of the Government of Kaduna State from 29 May 2015 to 29 May 2023, as ratified by the Kaduna State House of Assembly, is unconstitutional and therefore null and void for violating his right to fair hearing as guaranteed under the Constitution.

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

Forefront News recalled that earlier this month, 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 report, which indicted the ex-governor and some of his appointees, recommended their investigation and prosecution 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 El-Rufai’s administration.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Henry Zacharia, said most of the loans obtained under 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.

However, reacting to the report then, El-Rufai’s media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, described it as false and scandalous, saying; “We are aware of news that the Kaduna State House of Assembly has adopted the report of the ad hoc committee it asked to probe the El-Rufai government.

“We have not been provided with a copy of the report, to which we would respond robustly whenever we obtain it. We affirm the integrity of the El-Rufai government and dismiss the scandalous claims being aired as the report of the committee”.

Further addressing issues around the report, Adekeye 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 with 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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