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El Rufai blows hot after indicting report recommends his prosecution

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Within hours of a damning report of the management of state funds as governor of Kaduna State, and a call for his investigation by anti-graft agencies, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has described the report of the Kaduna State House of Assembly as a hatchet job.

According to a report by The Star newspaper, El-Rufai, through his spokesman, stated that he complied with all extant laws in all his activities while he was the governor between 2015 and 2023.

The former governor declared that he served the state with integrity and that his record in office cannot be altered by any malicious effort.

The ad-hoc committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly to investigate all the finances, loans and contracts awarded during the Nasir El-Rufai administration had earlier on Wednesday submitted its report to the house.

It recommended that el-Rufai be prosecuted for alleged abuse of office and money laundering, just a year after he left office.

The recommendation came after an investigation by the committee set up by the House, led by Henry Zacharia.

According to the report submitted by Zacharia on Wednesday, most of the loans obtained under el-Rufai’s administration were not used for their intended purpose, and in some cases, due process was not followed in securing the loans.

The committee, therefore, recommended the investigation and prosecution of the ex-governor and some other indicted members of his cabinet by security and anti-corruption agencies for abuse of office through the award of contracts without due process, diversion of public funds, and money laundering.

While reading the report summary, the Speaker, Dahiru Liman, said that the El-Rufai administration had a total income of N1.49 trillion in the years under review, adding that some of these monies were allegedly misappropriated.

However, in a statement made available to The Star by Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, the Media Adviser to El-Rufai, the former governor described the Assembly’s action as “jaundiced probe” which should be disregarded.

“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.

“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 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.

“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.

“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.”

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