Kaduna Assembly Yet To Report Findings On El-Rufai- EFCC, ICPC

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el rufai

Kaduna Assembly Yet To Report Findings On El-Rufai- EFCC, ICPC

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission have revealed that the Kaduna State House of Assembly was yet to report the alleged N423billion money laundering allegedly committed during the administration of former Governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai.

Recall that the state Assembly had in April set up a 13-man panel, headed by the Deputy Speaker, Henry Danjuma, to probe El-Rufai’s administration over allegations of wanton misappropriation of the state funds.

The ad-hoc committee was mandated to investigate all finances, loans and contracts awarded under the former governor.

The probe by the assembly came weeks after the incumbent governor of the state, Uba Sani, lamented that El-Rufai left him a huge debt profile

Sani, who spoke during a town hall meeting in Kaduna, had said, “Despite the huge debt burden of $587m, N85bn, and 115 Contractual Liabilities sadly inherited from the previous administration, we remain resolute in steering Kaduna State towards progress and sustainable development.”

But while presenting the report during Wednesday’s plenary, Danjuma said most of the loans obtained under the El-Rufai’s administration were not used for the purpose for which they were obtained, while in some cases, due process was not followed in securing the loans.

Receiving the report, the Speaker of the Kaduna House of Assembly, Yusuf Liman, said that a total N423bn was siphoned by the El-Rufai’s administration while leaving the state with huge liabilities.

The report read in part, “The Governor of Kaduna State between 29th May, 2015 to 29th May, 2023 as the Chief Executive Officer of the state breached his Oath of Office contained in the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended and failed to exercise due discretion in the administration of the state, thereby indulged in: 1. Plunging the state into unwanted, unjustified and fraudulent domestic and foreign debts over and above the total Loans obtained by Kaduna State from 1965 to 1999 and the majority of which were obtained without due process.”

The Assembly, while adopting the report of the 13-man panel, asked the incumbent Governor, Uba Sani, to refer El-Rufai, his commissioner for Finance and other aides to relevant security agencies for investigation.

But El-Rufai, in a swift reaction by his media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, knocked the report, describing it as false and scandalous.

“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 would 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,” Adekeye clapped back.

However, ICPC spokesperson, Demola Bakare, said the commission was yet to receive any petition from the state assembly over the money laundering allegations it leveled against the former governor.

Bakare said, “They made that statement, but we have received not the report; but if they bring it, we know what to do. It’s an intention. It’s still an intention, and they have not sent the report to us for investigation,”

Concerning whether the ICPC would commence a probe into the matter if it receives the report of the Kaduna State Assembly, the spokesperson answered in the affirmative.

“That is what we are established to do, if we receive a report, we don’t want to be criticised as killing the report; hence we’ll look into it, and if we’re able to establish a prima facie case, we’ll bring it to a logical conclusion. But we have not received any report in this regard,” Bakare noted.

Also, impeccable EFCC sources confirmed that the EFCC also was yet to receive a petition from the Kaduna State Assembly concerning the money laundering allegations against El-Rufai.

A source said, “The EFCC does not work just based on what is reported. But if they (Kaduna Assembly) bring a petition to us, we’ll look into.”

Another source revealed, “There are processes and procedures, however, if they send a petition to the EFCC, we’ll act on it.”

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, could not be reached for comments over the development.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that a former Accountant General, Shizzer Nasada, and an ex-commissioner for Finance in the state, Bashir Saidu, provided the details of how the $350m World Bank loan secured by the El-Rufai’s government was appropriated.

In the report, Nasada, who served as the state AGF between 2019 and 2023, was quoted as revealing, “That the $350m loan form part of the loans in the state, ”adding that, “In 2015, N1bn was collected as loan from Zenith Bank, salaries paid accrued to N14.3bn and a loan was collected from the Excess Crude Account Facility.”

He also disclosed, “That there was no further approval from the state assembly or National Assembly before the $350m loan facility that was given to Kaduna State Government in trenches because there was no revalidation of the approval and resolution from the ninth assembly.”

He added, “That, the total domestic loans in 2015 was N40bn and in 2023, another N20bn was collected and that the P4R Project was attached to the $350m collected in 2017.”

Similarly, the report stated that Saidu, who served between 2019 and 2022, revealed, “That the $350m loan was approved by the Executive Council in 2017 and the draw down commenced in 2019.”

“The proceed was lodged in an account opened with Access Bank. One Maryam Dangaji was assigned as the Project Coordinator for P4R and was responsible for the accounts. The purpose of collecting the loan could have changed due to the delay in accessing same, hence, most of the things to be utilised by the loan have been executed,” the report quoted Saidu as saying.