Prosecute El-Rufai, Protesters Tell EFCC, ICPC


A group of youths under the umbrella of Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance, on Thursday, held a peaceful protest to demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the former governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai, in connection with the alleged misappropriation of N423 billion by his eight-year administration.

The group, who took their protest to the Kaduna State Government House to register their displeasure, also urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to ensure that all those indicted by the Kaduna State House of Assembly ad-hoc committee that probed the alleged looting of public funds during the Governor El-Rufai administration are arrested and adequately prosecuted to recover all stolen funds belonging to the Kaduna State government.

Carrying placards with different inscriptions and singing solidarity songs, the protesters walked from the popular UTC bus stop down to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House to register their anger.

The group leader, Victor Duniya, called on the anti-corruption agencies to arrest and prosecute El-Rufai and all individuals found guilty in the alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to Kaduna State.

“We, the Kaduna Citizens Watch for Good Governance, appreciate your presence as we express our grievances today. Our state has endured financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and a growing debt burden for the past eight years,” he said.

“On March 30th, 2024, Governor Uba Sani revealed during a town hall meeting that the state faced a substantial debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities inherited from the previous administration. This has led to over 70% of the state’s allocation being used to service the inherited debt.

“The most troubling finding was the diversion of 10.5 billion naira meant for pastoral nomadism and the construction of the Milk Industry at Damau, Kubau LGA, for the construction of Galaxy Mall, Kaduna. Additionally, the report uncovered overpayments to contractors, payments to unregistered companies, and funds disbursed for work not completed, amounting to over N36.3 billion.

“The report also revealed large sums of money withdrawn from the state treasury without proper documentation of its usage. Furthermore, an expenditure of over 11 billion on a non-existent MRT transportation scheme was documented with no evidence to support it.

“While we were struggling to come to terms with the voodoo former Governor El-Rufai and his cabinet members deployed to cover the faces of Kaduna people from seeing all these atrocities, El-Rufai in his characteristically lousy manner, gathered members of his well-fed family to Sallah feast where he tacitly called on them in Hausa Language to bring down the government of Senator Uba Sani, which we believe it is as a result of the sin of allowing the legislative arm of government to work for the first time in over 8yrs.

“As concerned citizens, we: Condemn in the strongest terms possible the outright and merciless looting of our state, which has widened the poverty gap in the state by the immediate past administration.  Commend Governor Uba Sani for holding on to the ideals of the democracy he worked for by not interfering in the activities of the Kaduna State House, as many people expected you to stop the legislative arm of government from doing their work, as it was done in the past.

“Commend Governor Uba Sani for running an open government, where regular consultations are carried out with various stakeholders, especially during town hall meetings.

“Commend the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the thorough work done in unravelling the financial atrocities committed against our state, despite blackmails and threats from the beneficiaries of the financial heist.

“Call on Governor Uba Sani to implement relevant sections of the report that fall under his purview

“Call on the Governor to officially forward the committee report’s findings to relevant anti-corruption agencies to enable them to swing into action and recover our resources at their disposal.

“We Call on Security Agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute former governor Nasir El-Rufai and those he has incited to bring down the government of Senator Uba Sani.”

In a similar position, another group, Kaduna Accountability Network has cautioned El-Rufai against making inciting or disparaging remarks against Governor Uba Sani, while also calling on the EFCC and ICPC to immediately beam its searchlight on the former governor.

“We are compelled, as patriotic citizens of Kaduna State, to express our utter disgust at the bloating and irresponsible utterances, allegedly made by Mal Nasir Ahmed El Rufai, the former Governor of the State, as reported by the media yesterday, in which he sarcastically wished for the eventual failure of his successor, Senator Uba Sani, the Governor of Kaduna State,” the group said.

“The media report purportedly stemmed out of a viral video in which the former Governor and his cohorts were allegedly seen stuffing their guts, feasting, and belching, in an audacious show of affluence, when the majority of the people of the State, that he governed with iron fist, are wallowing in hunger and penury.

“It is utterly reprehensible and irresponsible for someone accused and being probed of embezzling over 423 billion naira from the state treasury and leaving the citizens in poverty and debt, to shamelessly flaunt his lavish lifestyle together with his family and friends, on us the common people.

“Although, it is quite obvious to all, that El Rufai does not care about us, the poor people of Kaduna state, who are now paying for the debt that, he allegedly diverted to himself and his cronies. It is not a surprise therefore, that El Rufai might have deliberately chosen the auspicious occasion of the El el Kabir for his balderdash to insult the sensibility of the good people of the state.

“As stakeholders in the development of Kaduna, we cannot stand idle, while a man who should be held accountable for the missing 423,115,028,072.88 naira from our commonwealth attempts to undermine a government that represents the will of the people, and to continue take us for granted.

“We are urging the Anti-corruption Agencies to take prompt action on the report of the KDHA  for in-depth investigation and appropriate action to recover our commonwealth and prosecute anyone implicated.

“We commend  Governor Uba Sani for his steadfastness in the face of the provocations by the former administration and its cronies.  Unlike Nasir El Rufai the Governor did not go about pulling down the properties and assets of people who differ with him or attack his government.”

Meanwhile, former members of the Kaduna State Executive Council under the El-Rufai administration have refuted the report by the Kaduna State Assembly indicting them or their principal, insisting that they served the state with utmost integrity.

In a statement jointly signed by former Commissioner of Human Services and Social Welfare, Hafsat Baba; former Commissioner of Environment Jafaru Sani;  former Commissioner of finance,  Bashir Saidu and former Commissioner of Budget and Planning,  Ummi Aboki, the former government officials described the Assembly’s report as the outcome of a process motivated by malice and conducted with patent unfairness.

According to the former commissioners, “The Kaduna assembly report is irredeemably riddled with falsehood,  predetermined conclusions,  and misrepresentation.  The Report is bereft of rigour and accuracy and fails to demonstrate any understanding of the various matters it purported to investigate.

“This statement is issued as a preliminary response to the sensation-driven and fact-challenged claims made by the Kaduna State House of Assembly during its sitting on Wednesday, 5th June 2024 when it adopted a document titled “Report of Ad-hoc Committee on Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities and Other Related Matters of the Government of Kaduna State from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023.

“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.

“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.

“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. The Report is bereft of rigour and accuracy and fails to demonstrate any understanding of the various matters it purported to investigate. The authors of this Report and their sponsors seem to have calculated that rigour is not required in a document whose purpose is to splash mud and smear reputations. We shall exercise our right to defend our hard-earned reputations, but without prejudice to that day, we wish to rebut and refute the avalanche of dirty lies dressed up as a clean official report.

“Contrary to the allegations, we affirm that there is no basis for the wild claims about money laundering. This baseless allegation is the peak of the defamatory agenda to which the Ad-hoc Committee and the Kaduna State House of Assembly willingly lent themselves as spineless accomplices. It is crafted to sound weighty, but it is just hot air pushed out to excite passions and stoke outrage. Not a shred of evidence was produced by anyone before the Committee to justify this malicious claim that was plucked out of the air.

“Not a kobo, speak less of N423bn, was ever siphoned out of Kaduna State Government coffers during our tenure. The Ad Hoc Committee indulged in voodoo accounting merely to concoct a scandal. We note that this same Kaduna State House of Assembly received and accepted the Audited Accounts of the State for each year from 2015 to 2022, but now wants the public to disregard the formal, legally and constitutionally recognised public accounts of the State in favour of its wishy-washy, malicious but incompetent and poorly calculated attempt at legislative character assassination.”

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