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El-Rufai’s ex-appointees refute Kaduna assembly report, clear ex-governor of corruption allegations

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Members of the Kaduna State Executive Council from 2015 to 2023 have again refuted money laundering and corruption allegations made by the state House of Assembly against former Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration.

The assembly, in a document titled “Report of Ad-hoc Committee on Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities and Other Related Matters,” alleged financial mismanagement, money laundering and abuse of office by El-Rufai’s administration.

In a follow-up to a press statement released on June 14, the former members of the Kaduna Executive Council criticised the report for its biased and unprofessional nature, highlighting concerns about transparency and fairness in the investigation.

In a statement released on Tuesday, signed by Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, former commissioner of environment; Hafsat Mohammed Baba, former commissioner of human services and social development; and Bashir Saidu, former chief of staff, on behalf of others, the ex-officials questioned the absence of El-Rufai’s testimony and the lack of evidence for the claim that the government siphoned funds.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai was not invited by the Ad-hoc Committee which made certain claims against him,” the statement reads in part.

“As you are aware, he has approached the Federal High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental rights as a 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.”

The assembly, according to El-Rufai’s loyalists, has not responded to formal requests for the certified true copy of the Report, its appendix, and video and audio recordings pertaining to the investigations conducted by the Ad-hoc Committee

They also pointed out inconsistencies in the report’s figures and defended the utilisation of loans by the previous administration. They called for a fair and unbiased investigation and urged the release of the certified true copy of the report for review.

The statement reiterated the dedication and integrity of the service provided by the El-Rufai Administration during their tenure from May 2015 to May 2023.

The Ad-hoc Committee claimed that the government of Kaduna State siphoned N423,115,028,072.88 between May 2015 and May 2023. However, the ex-officials questioned the basis for this claim, as the report does not provide any evidence or trail of the allegedly siphoned funds.

The press statement presented figures from the Audited Accounts of the State for 2015-2022, certified by the Auditor-General, to counter the allegations of fund siphoning. These figures show the total receipts, total expenditure, and budget deficit for the same period.

The former governor appointees defended the utilisation of loans by the El-Rufai administration, stating that the loans were diligently applied and used for various projects and development initiatives in the state.

They emphasised that the current administration is enjoying the benefits of these loans while discrediting the previous administration that secured them.

“We have once again drawn attention to the glaring evidence of the hatchet job that passes for the Report and the Ad-hoc Committee. It oozes malice and patent unfairness and raises the question why a House of Assembly that arranged extensive media coverage of its adoption of the Report has refused to provide certified true copies of the same Report more than a month after,” they added.

“It cannot be a reasonable assumption on their part that we will meekly accept this breach of fundamental rights or cower in the face of this premeditated assault on our reputations.”