Kaduna State House of Assembly Urges El-Rufai’s Ex-Appointees to Defend Charges of Malfeasance

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The Kaduna State House of Assembly have asked some former appointees of ex- governor Nasir El-Rufai   to deploy their energies towards answering charges of malfeasance, abuse of office, disrespect for the law and due process leveled against them.

The house was reacting to a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by some former officials who served in El-Rufai’s administration between 2015 to 2023.

The former commissioners had accused Governor Uba Sani, El-Rufai’s successor, for concocting financial figures to indict him and his administration with the claim that the El-Rufai administration diverted a whooping sum of N423 billion.

They maintained that “the so-called report”, by the House of Assembly ad-hoc committee which investigated contract awards, loans and financial transactions under the El-Rufai administration, “lacked merit and was deliberately and mischievously orchestrated by Uba Sani and his team to discredit” the former governor and his administration.

However, reacting in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, the house said its “findings revealed a litany of poorly executed, abandoned projects, and projects that exists only in the imagination of executive scammers.”

The statement signed by Henry Magaji, Deputy Speaker of the house and Chair of the ad-hoc committee, said the former appointees failed to address the main issue, which is the systematic and coordinated cornering of the resources of Kaduna State through phoney contracts and outright looting.

He said, “The attention of the Kaduna State House of Assembly has been drawn to a press conference addressed by some senior political appointees of the immediate past administration of Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

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“In the press conference, the former political appointees made strenous efforts to pick holes in the report of the Probe Committee.

“They resorted to name calling and wild allegations on the motivations for the House Probe. We wish to state as follows:

“The press conference was just a rehash of the vituperations and innuendoes heaped on us by the former political appointees in their first press briefing. There was nothing new that should warrant our response.

“They failed to address the main issue, which is the systematic and coordinated cornering of the resources of Kaduna State through phoney contracts and outright looting.

“The State House of Assembly, in line with its constitutional mandate and in response to public demand, carried out a thorough probe into the humongous debts incurred by the immediate past administration without commensurate projects.

“We dug deep and unearthed the monumental heist carried out in Kaduna State in the guise of projects execution.

“Our findings revealed a litany of poorly executed projects, abandoned projects, and projects that exists only in the imagination of executive scammers”.

Magaji said, anti-corruption agencies had been called upon to step in and invite indicted persons for questioning.

According to him, “It is the anti-corruption agencies that can either validate or disprove our findings, not individuals who spent their days in public office cornering the common patrimony of the people of Kaduna State and mortgaging the future of its children and grandchildren”.

The statement urged the former appointees to “deploy their energies towards preparing their defences before the anti-corruption agencies, and eventually the courts.”

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Magaji said, the house is not in a battle of wits with the former commissioners.

“We have done our duty to the people of Kaduna State. Let them answer to the charges of malfeasance, abuse of office, disrespect for the law and due process leveled against them.

“We are currently in court with the head of the indicted administration, Malam Nasir El-Rufai over the issue of fair hearing.

“We shall not comment on the matter because it is sub-judice. We stand for the rule of law and due process.

“We are elected representatives of the people. We are accountable to the people.

“We have a constitutional responsibility to make laws and carry out functions for the welfare, safety, and security of the people.

“The probe carried out by the House is in furtherance of the oath we took to advance the interests of the people of Kaduna State.

“The few political appointees who have been making desperate but futile moves to denigrate the House and cover up the alleged fraud perpetrated by the previous government represent no one but themselves.

“If they genuinely have the interest of Kaduna State and are truly men and women of integrity, they would have applied themselves to developing the state instead of participating in the alleged pilfering of its scarce resources.”

John Shiklam

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