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EFCC, ICPC await Kaduna Assembly’s report on El-Rufai’s alleged N423bn fraud

The allegations against El-Rufai have sparked a heated debate in the state, with many calling for his prosecution. The former governor has denied the allegations, describing the report as false and scandalous...

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EFCC, ICPC await Kaduna Assembly’s report on El-Rufai’s alleged N423bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have revealed that they are yet to receive a report from the Kaduna State House of Assembly regarding the alleged N423 billion fraud committed during the administration of former Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

The Kaduna State House of Assembly had set up a 13-man panel to investigate El-Rufai’s administration over allegations of misappropriation of state funds. The panel’s report revealed that El-Rufai’s administration plunged the state into unwanted debts and indulged in fraudulent activities.

The report stated that the administration obtained loans without due process and misused the funds, leaving the state with huge liabilities.

The EFCC and ICPC have stated that they will investigate the matter if they receive a petition from the Kaduna State Assembly. The ICPC spokesperson, Demola Bakare, confirmed that the commission has not received any report from the state assembly. “They made that statement, but we have received no report; but if they bring it, we know what to do. It’s an intention. It’s still an intention, and they have not sent the report to us for investigation,” Bakare said.

Concerning whether the ICPC would commence a probe into the matter if it receives the report of the Kaduna State Assembly, the spokesperson answered in the affirmative.

“That is what we are established to do; if we receive a report, we don’t want to be criticised as killing the report; hence we’ll look into it, and if we’re able to establish a prima facie case, we’ll bring it to a logical conclusion. But we have not received any report in this regard,” Bakare noted.

Also, impeccable EFCC sources who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak, confirmed that the EFCC also was yet to receive a petition from the Kaduna State Assembly concerning the money laundering allegations against El-Rufai.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Assembly proposes legal action against El-Rufai

A source said, “The EFCC does not work just based on what is reported. But if they (Kaduna Assembly) bring a petition to us, we’ll look into.” Another source revealed, “There are processes and procedures, however, if they send a petition to the EFCC, we’ll act on it.” The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, could not be reached for comments over the development.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that a former Accountant General, Shizzer Nasada, and an ex-commissioner for Finance in the state, Bashir Saidu, provided the details of how the $350m World Bank loan secured by the El-Rufai’s government was appropriated.

In the report, Nasada, who served as the state AGF between 2019 and 2023, was quoted as revealing, “That the $350m loan form part of the loans in the state,” adding that, “In 2015, N1bn was collected as loan from Zenith Bank, salaries paid accrued to N14.3bn and a loan was collected from the Excess Crude Account Facility.”

He also disclosed, “That there was no further approval from the state assembly or National Assembly before the $350m loan facility that was given to Kaduna State Government in trenches because there was no revalidation of the approval and resolution from the ninth assembly.”

He added, “That, the total domestic loans in 2015 was N40bn and in 2023, another N20bn was collected and that the P4R Project was attached to the $350m collected in 2017.”

Similarly, the report stated that Saidu, who served between 2019 and 2022, revealed, “That the $350m loan was approved by the Executive Council in 2017 and the drawdown commenced in 2019.”

“The proceed was lodged in an account opened with Access Bank. One Maryam Dangaji was assigned as the Project Coordinator for P4R and was responsible for the accounts. The purpose of collecting the loan could have changed due to the delay in accessing same, hence, most of the things to be utilised by the loan have been executed,” the report quoted Saidu as saying.

The allegations against El-Rufai have sparked a heated debate in the state, with many calling for his prosecution. The former governor has denied the allegations, describing the report as false and scandalous.

His media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, said, “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 would 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,” Adekeye clapped back.

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