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Court rejects El-Rufai’s bid to halt EFCC probe, upholds constitutional mandate

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Court rejects El-Rufai’s bid to halt EFCC probe, upholds constitutional mandate

The Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a ruling affirming that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, cannot obstruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from conducting an investigation against him.

Justice Binta Nyako delivered this verdict on Friday, concluding a lawsuit (FHC/ABJ/CS/60/09) initiated by El-Rufai himself.

The governor had sought the court’s determination regarding his compliance with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during his tenure as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the sale of Federal Government houses between May 2005 and May 2007.

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Among the defendants in this case were the EFCC, the FCT minister, FCDA, AGF, CBN, Oceanic Bank, Access Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Aso Savings and Loans Ltd, Union Homes, Akintola Williams Deloitte, and Aminu Ibrahim & Co.

El-Rufai’s originating summons also aimed to establish whether the proceeds from the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT during the specified period had been properly accounted for, in accordance with FEC mandates and guidelines.

Additionally, he sought clarification on whether a sum of N32 billion or any other amount was missing from the proceeds of the sales.

The governor requested various declarations, including confirmation that the sale of Federal Government houses adhered to FEC mandates and the approved guidelines, and that the proceeds were correctly accounted for as outlined in the Audit Report presented by the 12th and 13th respondents.

However, while Justice Nyako initially granted El-Rufai’s prayers, the EFCC strongly opposed this, claiming that the governor’s motive was to obstruct their investigation and conceal possible fraud committed during his tenure as the FCT minister.

In the final judgment, Justice Nyako upheld the EFCC’s position, asserting that no court could prevent the commission from carrying out its constitutional mandate to investigate individuals.

She emphasized that no court, including the Federal High Court, would allow itself to be manipulated to shield anyone from investigation by the EFCC.

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