Ahead of the end of his tenure, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) under the aegis of 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 (FCT).
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 organisation reminded the Federal government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies that El-Rufai flagrantly abused the guidelines set by the Federal Executive Council in the sale of FG houses at the time.
The CSO further said it monitored the case while it lasted in Court until the time it was discontinued, adding that the time was ripe for its continuation.
“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.
(Courtesy: Saturday Independent)