Kaduna Assembly indicts former governor El-Rufai over alleged misappropriation of N423bn

Leah TwakiJune 7, 20245 min

A report by the ad-hoc Committee probing the El-Rufai administration in Kaduna has revealed that loans and contracts from 2015 to 2023 were misappropriated, with substantial funds allegedly diverted from their intended purposes

Akpabio

An ad hoc committee established by the Kaduna State House of Assembly has revealed significant financial mismanagement during the tenure of former Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

The committee’s findings, presented during a plenary session on Wednesday, indicate that loans and contracts from 2015 to 2023 were misappropriated, with substantial funds allegedly diverted from their intended purposes.

Deputy Speaker, Henry Danjuma, the chairman of the ad hoc committee, disclosed that many loans secured under El-Rufai’s administration were not utilized for their designated projects. The report highlighted a series of procedural breaches, including the failure to follow due process in obtaining these loans.

Speaker Yusuf Liman, upon receiving the report, stated that El-Rufai’s administration siphoned a staggering N423 billion, plunging Kaduna State into considerable debt. The committee’s investigation revealed multiple infractions, including the reckless awarding of contracts without proper execution, leading to numerous abandoned projects despite significant payments.

The report accused El-Rufai of grossly violating his oath of office, citing the following key points:

“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 majority of which were obtained without due process.

“Reckless awards of Contracts without due process and due execution leading to several abandoned Projects despite payments. 

“Authorised the humongous withdrawals of cash both in Naira and Dollars with no records of utilization and denied the State of the needed resources for development.

“Complicit activities with Commissioners and Heads of Parastatals to defraud the State by issuing directives to KADPPA to circumvent due process in the payment of Contractors vide letter dated 21 June 2021.

“Diversion of funds and money laundering contrary to all extant Laws and regulations and accordingly should be referred to the Law Enforcement Agencies for in-depth investigation and appropriate action.”

The committee recommended the investigation and prosecution of El-Rufai and implicated members of his cabinet by security and anti-corruption agencies. 

Furthermore, the committee advised the immediate suspension of Shizer Badda, the current Kaduna State Commissioner of Finance, who held the same role under El-Rufai’s administration. Badda was also serving as the chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board at the time.

The probe by the  Assembly came weeks after the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, lamented that El-Rufai left him a huge debt profile in the State 

OrderPaper recalls that Sani, who spoke during a town hall meeting in Kaduna, said that he inherited a lean treasury, adding that he could not pay workers’ salaries.

Sani 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.”

Meanwhile, the El-Rufai camp refuted the report by the ad-hoc Committee through a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Muyiwa Adekeye, as El-Rufai criticized the probe, calling it a “politically motivated hatchet job”.

The statement reads, “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.

“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.”

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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