• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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El-Rufai sues Kaduna Assembly over corruption allegations against him

Nasir el-Rufai

Former Governor Nasir El-Rufai has taken legal action against the Kaduna State House of Assembly over allegations that his administration embezzled N432 billion and left the state with huge debt.

El-Rufai filed a fundamental rights enforcement case at the Federal High Court in Kaduna, personally appearing to present his lawsuit. He claimed that the assembly’s committee denied him a fair hearing.

This was contained in a statement by the former governor’s media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, posted on his X handle on Wednesday.

Abdulhakeem Mustapha, El-Rufai’s lawyer, contests the Kaduna Assembly Committee’s report, which accused El-Rufai of corruption.

Mustapha argued that El-Rufai, as a Nigerian citizen, deserves a fair hearing before any quasi-judicial or investigative body, in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

El-Rufai seeks a court declaration that the assembly’s report on the investigation of loans, financial transactions, contractual liabilities, and related matters during his tenure is unconstitutional.

The report, ratified by the Kaduna State House of Assembly, allegedly violated El-Rufai’s right to fair hearing under Section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution.

“His lawyer, AU Mustapha SAN, said that El-Rufai approached the court as a Nigerian citizen who is entitled to be given a fair hearing before his rights can be determined by a quasi-judicial or investigative body or courts in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

“El-Rufai also 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,” Adekeye said on his X account.

Earlier in June, the assembly’s ad hoc committee submitted its investigative report on El-Rufai’s financial dealings, loans, and contracts.

Henry Zacharia, the committee chairman, highlighted misuse of loans during El-Rufai’s administration, citing instances where proper procedures were not followed.

Speaker Yusuf Liman also alleged that El-Rufai’s administration misappropriated N423 billion, resulting in huge financial burdens for the state.