El-Rufai Slams Kaduna Assembly with lawsuit over alleged N432 billion misappropriation probe

Nasir El-Rufai

The former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has filed a lawsuit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly over their probe into the alleged misappropriation of ₦432 billion during his eight-year administration from 2015 to 2023.

Malam El-Rufai said the House committee did not give him a fair hearing.

The suit challenging the House Committee report, which alleged that the former governor was involved in money laundering and other financial infractions during his tenure as governor of Kaduna State, was filed by El-Rufai’s lawyer, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, SAN.

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

The Kaduna Assembly indicted the former governor and his commissioners of corruption and financial mismanagement over his past eight years in office.

El-Rufai has been in the eye of the storm politically since his ministerial nomination by Prrsident Bola Tinubu was rejected by the Senate.

Then on March 30, 2024, his successor, Governor Uba Sani, said the state faces a substantial debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities inherited from El-Rufai’s administration.

He further stated that the situation has led to over 70 per cent of the state’s allocation being used to service the inherited debt.

In April, the Kaduna State House of Assembly commenced probe of El-Rufai’s tenure.

The House said the probe will focus on the El-Rufai loans, financial transactions, contractual liabilities, and other relevant matters.

“The Kaduna State House of Assembly at its One Hundred and Fiftieth (150th) Sitting on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, resolved and constituted an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities & Other Related Matters of The Government of Kaduna State from 29th May, 2015 to 29 May, 2023,” the letter stated.

Subsequently, the House of Assembly formed an ad hoc committee to investigate the state’s financial transactions from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023.

The committee, led by Henry Magaji, submitted its findings on June 5, revealing significant unaccounted funds and irregularities in financial transactions. The report highlighted mismanagement of funds, diversion of loans, overpayment of contractors, and lack of transparency in the use of state funds.

Last week, protesters, under the auspices of Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance (KCWGG) stormed the Kaduna State Government House asking Governor Uba Sani to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute El-Rufai over his indictment in the misappropriation of N423 billion.

The protesters began trekking about 11am from UTC Bus stop leading to the Government House. They sang solidarity songs and carried placards with different inscriptions condemning the alleged financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and a growing debt burden in the eight years of the El-Rufai administration.

Some of the inscriptions read ‘We will occupy all MDAs to chase out all indicted persons in the report’; ‘Stop servicing all loans that did not follow due process before they were obtained’; ‘Jimi Lawal almost killed Kaduna State the way he killed a bank some years ago’.

Chairman of the protesting group, Comrade Victor Duniya, said: “Our state has endured financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and a growing debt burden in the last eight years. The most troubling finding was the diversion of N10.5 billion meant for pastoral nomadism and the construction of the Milk Industry at Damau, Kubau local government, for the construction of Galaxy Mall, Kaduna. Additionally, the report uncovered overpayments to contractors, payments to unregistered companies, and funds disbursed for work not completed, amounting to over N36.3 billion.

“The report also revealed large sums of money withdrawn from the state treasury without proper documentation of its use. Furthermore, an expenditure of over N11 billion on a non-existent MRT transportation scheme was documented with no evidence to support it.

“While we were struggling to come to terms with the voodoo former Governor El-Rufai and his team deployed to cover the faces of Kaduna people from seeing these atrocities, El-Rufai gathered members of his well-fed family to Sallah feast where he tacitly called on them in Hausa language to bring down the government of Senator Uba Sani, which we believe is as a result of allowing the House of Assembly work for the first time in over eight years.”

—Courtesy, TheNiche
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