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Alleged N423bn fraud: El-Rufai takes fresh jab at Kaduna Gov

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Alleged N423bn fraud: El-Rufai takes fresh jab at Kaduna Gov

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… says ‘you concocted figures to embarrass me, my administration’

. Such amount was neither earned nor diverted, ex-govs claims

Former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday, again lambasted his successor, Governor Uba Sani, for allegedly concocting financial figures to indict him and his administration with claims that his administration diverted a whooping N423,115,028,072.88.

The former governor dismissed the purported financial report indicting him and his ex-commissioners, arguing that the report lacked merit and was mischievously orchestrated by Governor Sani and his team to discredit him and his administration.

El-Rufai who spoke through his former commissioners at a press conference in Abuja, described the report made public by the Kaduna State House of Assembly on June 5, 2024, as conjuring outlandish figures in the hope of tarnishing him and his administration as corrupt, adding that the plan failed woefully as they could not establish any iota of graft in the end.

According to El-Rufai’s former commissioners, “The avalanche of figures seems only to have had the effect of mesmerising the legislators who cite one amount here, and then something different on exactly the same figure.”

They described the alleged siphoning of N423,115,028,072.88 by the Government of Kaduna State from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023 as a comical claim as the report does not in anywhere show where the sum of money was taken from and how it was taken and by who.

The commissioners added, “The Report does not show how they arrived at this figure, and how they decided that money had been siphoned, how it was done, from which accounts and to where. They just decreed a figure and declared it! This is the Ad-hoc Committee in action, indulging in voodoo accounting just to concoct a scandal.

“State Government’s share of revenues is put at N811,663,310,000 on Page 138. Yet, by the time they got to Page 168, the Committee had adopted a different figure of N1,497,682,993.375, without saying how and why. These contradictory figures within the same Report illustrate the lack of consistency, credibility and reliability of the so-called findings.

“The Ad-hoc Committee alleges that a State Government “siphoned” more than half of the N811.6bn it got as revenues over eight years, but it cannot even decide on the precise amount of these total revenues.”

The commissioners dismissed the Uba Sani report as a joke taken too far, vilifying him for trying desperately to tarnish el-Rufai and his team despite the fact that the only projects and programmes the current governor is showcasing as his achievements derived primarily from the loans the former administration put in place.

They further condemned Governor Sani for using his focal blood brother in writing the report against el-Rufai and his administration, saying that it was unethical to do so under any guise.

They also expressed surprise over the loud silence of the so-called report on those who cornered the CBN-sponsored Anchor Borrowers Scheme under the current administration in Kaduna and would want the government to delve into it to unravel the silent beneficiaries and how they applied the fund.

“There is a loud silence in the Report about the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme in which Kaduna State was perhaps the State with the largest quantum of borrowing. Who are the beneficiaries? Why is the House of Assembly neither interested in nor curious about it? When Ibrahim Husaini, a former Commissioner of Agriculture, testified on 7th May 2024, he was questioned about the Anchor Borrowers Programme, and he submitted an affidavit to the House of Assembly. Curiously, his name does not appear on the list of witnesses and his testimony is omitted in the Report. Did his testimony contain certain inconvenient facts that the Ad-hoc Committee chose to steer clear?” they alleged.

The former commissioners also accused the authors of the report of having a conflict of interests and being unfit to preside over the sessions that purportedly indicted them, citing the Speaker and others as examples.

They identified the Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly as one of those investigated by the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) and whose personal accounts were frozen for having billions in untaxed and unexplained income. He was also said to be involved in a public-private partnership with Kaduna Markets to develop a Neighbourhood Centre over which he has had differences with the management of Kaduna Markets.

They said, “Despite these obvious conflicts, he presided at the House of Assembly session that adopted the Ad-hoc Committee’s recommendation that the former chairman of KADIRS and the former Managing Director of Kaduna Markets be referred for further investigation.”

El-Rufai’s men also cited Barr. Mahmud Lawal Isma’ila, a member of the Ad-hoc Committee (listed as Number 5 on Pg. 3 of the Report) who has proved to be very vocal in condemning Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a biological brother of Governor Uba Sani, saying that he is unqualified to pass judgment on them.

“We have once again drawn attention to the glaring evidence of the hatchet job that passes for the Report and the Ad-hoc Committee. It oozes malice and patent unfairness and raises the question why a House of Assembly that arranged extensive media coverage of its adoption of the Report has refused to provide certified true copies of the same Report more than a month after. It cannot be a reasonable assumption on their part that we will meekly accept this breach of fundamental rights or cower in the face of this premeditated assault on our reputations,” the former commissioners added.

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