• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Ex-Kaduna executive council members refute assembly report against El-Rufai

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

Recall that 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.

However, members of the Kaduna executive council who served under the former governor, in a statement read at a press briefing held at Bon Hotel Elvis in Abuja on Friday denied the allegations.

The statement was jointly signed by Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, former commissioner of environment; Hafsat Mohammed Baba, former commissioner of human services and social development; Umar Yusuf Aboki, former commissioner of planning and budget commission; and Bashir Saidu, former chief of staff, on behalf of others.

The former executive council said they have not received a certified copy of this report, which has been circulating on social media since its adoption on June 5, 2024.

“In spite of repeated requests and inquiries from us and various colleagues of ours, no certified true copy of this Report has been released to any persons who were mentioned in the report or who testified before the Ad-hoc Committee in response to its summons or who were indicted (some without ever being summoned or heard by the Ad Hoc Committee).

“In the light of non-release to us of the certified copy of the Report, this statement relies on the document referred to above that began circulating on social media shortly after the Kaduna State House of Assembly adopted the said document on Wednesday, 5th June 2024,” the statement reads in part.

They defended the administration’s record, highlighting achievements in modernising the state, developing human capital, expanding infrastructure, and improving business standing under the leadership of El-Rufai.

“We affirm the integrity of the Administration in which we served the people of Kaduna State between May 2015 and May 2023 under the leadership of Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai.

“In eight years, this Administration in which we were greatly privileged to serve impacted Kaduna State with innovations that accelerated the modernisation of the State, prioritised human capital development, expanded its infrastructure, improved its business standing, promoted equality of opportunity.

“During Malam El-Rufai’s tenure, his Administration, in spite of our State’s public safety challenges, was undoubtedly established as one of the best in Nigeria,” the statement stated.

They criticised the report as malicious, unfair, and filled with inaccuracies, vowing to defend their reputations against what they describe as an attempt to smear them.

“We dismiss this Report and the processes associated with it in their entirety. The Report is the outcome of a process motivated by malice and conducted with patent unfairness. It is irredeemably riddled with falsehood, predetermined conclusions, and misrepresentation,” they said.

The former excos specifically addressed allegations of money laundering and misappropriation of funds, stating that no evidence supports these claims and that the state’s audited accounts were previously accepted by the same assembly.

They detailed the due process followed in securing loans, including a USD 350 million World Bank loan used for the state’s development, which received a satisfactory rating from the World Bank upon completion.

The statement also clarified the state’s foreign loan exposure and refuted exaggerated claims about loans attributed to the El-Rufai Administration.

It emphasised that many projects commissioned by the current administration were initiated or funded by the previous government, questioning the logic of criticising loan-taking while benefiting from the projects those loans funded.

They affirmed that all contract awards followed due process, in line with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority Law, and challenged the assembly’s report as a poorly calculated attempt at legislative character assassination.

They expressed their commitment to due process and transparency, and their readiness to address any substantiated claims legally and ethically.