Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai has explained that he did not go to court to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from investigating him, but to clear his name.
El-Rufai’s statement on Sunday was in reaction to recent media reports that an Abuja Court had told him he could not stop the anti-graft body from investigating him with regards to the sale of some government houses in Abuja when he was FCT minister.
In a statement by the governor’s lawyer, A.U. Mustapha, SAN, he said he approached the court in 2009 to clear his name when he was being smeared by the anti-graft agency.
“EFCC sustained a media campaign that N32bn was missing, compelling Mallam El-Rufai to approach the which has since given a judgment in his favour,” Mustapha said.
According to him, it was the declaratory judgment that Justice Nyako recently reaffirmed in her ruling, when she held that the declaratory orders in favour of the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory subsisted.
The governor’s counsel further noted that the clarification became necessary due to “the false and abjectly misleading reportage of the judgment of the Hon. Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on 29th November 2019.”
According to the statement, as Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai had allocated plots in Abuja to more than 27,000 Nigerians and oversaw a transparent process that sold government houses and earned the Federal Government N32bn.
He said that “an intensely politicised EFCC” had allowed itself to be misguided into smearing people.
For that reason, Mustapha said that El Rufai had approached the court to determine three pertinent issues, among which was “whether the applicant, as the then FCT Minister/Chairman, Federal Capital Development Authority, complied with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council for the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 and May 2007.”
The lawyer noted that El Rufai had sought seven reliefs from the court, which included “a declaration that the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT was conducted in accordance with the Federal Executive Council mandate to the FCTA through the ad hoc committee for the sale of non essential houses in Abuja.”
He stressed that the court granted all the reliefs sought by El-Rufai and “we are satisfied with that.”