N32bn Gov’t Assets: Group Wants El-Rufai Prosecuted After May 29

Ahead of the end of his tenure, a Civil Society Organisation under the aegis of the Nigerian Movement for Probity and Accountability (NMP) has asked the Federal Government to commence the prosecution of the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai over the sale of public properties when he was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory…..CONTINUE READING

The group said that proceeds from sales of the properties from 2005 to 2007 was N32 billion, and that the fund however allegedly disappeared without trace.

In a statement on Friday by NMP’s National Coordinator, Bako Isaac, National Secretary, Mallam Kaoje and Director of Publicity, Salisu Abdulkadir, the non-profit organization reminded the Federal government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies that.

The CSO said it was monitoring the case while it lasted in Court until the time it was discontinued, but said time was ripe for its continuation.

It alleged that the governor knew well the guidelines set by the Federal Executive Council in the sales of FG houses, which they believed was not properly observed by El-Rufai at the time.

“El-Rufai at the time understood succinctly that the Federal Executive Council under the former President and Commander-in-Chief, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo approved guidelines for the sale of Federal Government properties in the Federal Capital Territory which the transaction under the Nasir El-Rufai was questionable.

“With regards to remitting the sum of N32 billion into the coffers of the Federal Government at the time, Nigerians need to know.

“At the time legal proceedings were initiated against El-Rufai by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission between 2018 and 2019, the CSO said he had become the Executive governor of Kaduna State, hence, he enjoys immunity which the anti-graft agency could only investigate and not prosecute him.

This was confirmed by Justice Binta Nyako vide the Federal High Court ruling on 20th November, 2019, where she held that, “no court would stop the EFCC from investigating anyone in line with its constitutional mandate. No court, including this one, will allow itself to be used to shield anybody from being investigated by the 1st respondent”, it added.

The group said, Court ruling was at the backdrop of El-Rufai’s spirited and audacious move to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from investigating and prosecuting him over the proceeds of sales of the Federal Government Houses in the Federal Capital Territory when he held sway as FCT Minister.

The NMP recalled that, while the economic crimes investigation was progressing, the governor rushed to the Court through the Suit: FHC/ABJ/CS/60/09 seeking the court’s determination whether, as the then minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he had complied with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the sale of Federal Government Houses between May 2005 and May 2007.

El-Rufai as an applicant approached the Federal High Court through an originating summon with catalogue of reliefs where he mentioned the EFCC, FCT Minister at the time, FCDA, AGF, CBN, the now rested Oceanic Bank, Access Bank PLC, defunct Intercontinental Bank, Aso Savings and Loans Limited, Union Homes, Akintola Williams Delloite and Aminu Ibrahim & Co., and seeking a declaration that the sum of N32 billion being proceeded of sales of Federal Government Houses and 2005 between 2007 in FCT was remitted into the Federation Account.

“Unfortunately, the Section 302 of 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 3 and 18 of the FCT Act 1990, which El-Rufai sought the court’s determination cannot stop the EFCC’s investigative powers which consequently made the anti-graft agency to file counter-affidavit in objection to the prayers, in which it had submitted that the motive of the applicant was to stop the Commission from investigating him in order to cover up the alleged fraud perpetrated when he was FCT minister.”

The NMP insisted that the matter should not be swept under the carpet, particularly that the accused will hand over as governor of Kaduna State on 29th May, 2023 and will not be covered by immunity anymore, adding that El-Rufai should cooperate the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prove his innocence as he would want the nation to believe…..CONTINUE READING