• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

“This jaundiced probe should be disregarded”- El-Rufai fires at Kaduna Assembly

El-Rufai

Former Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai has dismissed the recent report by an ad-hoc committee of the Kaduna State House of Assembly that investigated his administration.

El-Rufai, 55, who served as governor of Kaduna state from 2015 to 2023 labelled the probe as a “politically motivated” and defended his tenure, asserting that the committee’s findings are baseless.

In April, the Kaduna State House of Assembly on Tuesday set up a committee to investigate the financial transactions, loans, and contracts under the administration of Nasiru El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of the state.

Following the investigations, the ad hoc committee recommended the prosecution of the immediate past governor after presenting its findings revealing misappropriation of funds and abuse of power.

El-Rufai’s Media Adviser, Muyiwa Adekeye, released a statement in which the former governor strongly criticised the committee’s process and conclusions, claiming that the investigation was biased from the start, aiming to tarnish his reputation rather than seeking the truth.

“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 availed a copy of the report, to which we will 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,”

“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.

At the presentation of its findings to the Kaduna state house of assembly during a plenary session on Wednesday, Henry Zacharia, the committee chair, reported that the loans from El-Rufai’s term were often misallocated, and the loan acquisition process occasionally lacked proper procedure.

Yusuf Liman, speaker, received the report, noting that the El-Rufai administration misappropriated N423 billion, resulting in huge debt for the state.

The committee also recommended the suspension of Shizer Badda, the current finance commissioner, who held the same role under El-Rufai’s administration, and the chairman of the state universal basic education board.

El-Rufai condemned the findings as a breach of decency and fairness by the state legislature.

“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.

He further emphasised his pride in his administration’s achievements and the legacy he left in Kaduna State.

“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.”