Court grants EFCC permission to investigate El-Rufai for fraud

Court grants EFCC permission to investigate El-Rufai for fraud

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to carry on with its investigation of Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to carry on with its investigation of Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State. Justice Binta Nyako said this while delivering a judgment on Friday in a suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/60/09 filed by el-Rufai.

The governor was seeking the court’s determination whether as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, he had complied with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council for the sale of Federal Government houses between May 2005 and May 2007.

While el-Rufai was the applicant, the defendants from 1st to 13th include EFCC, FCT Minister, FCDA, AGF, CBN, Oceanic Bank, Access Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Aso Savings and Loans Ltd, Union Homes, Akintola Williams Deloite and Aminu Ibrahim & Co.

In the originating summons brought pursuant to Section 302 of 1999 constitution and Section 3 and 18 of the FCT Act 1990, el-Rufai also sought court’s determination: “whether the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 – May 2007 were properly accounted for or not in accordance with the FEC mandate and guidelines to the Federal Capital Territory Authority.
“Whether the sum of N32bn (or any sum whatsoever) is missing from the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 and May 2007.”

The Kaduna State governor also sought the court’s relief on “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”.

However, in the Friday judgment, the judge noted that the EFCC had called the court’s attention to its counter-affidavit in objection to the prayers. The anti-graft agency, in its counter-affidavit, had submitted that the motive of the applicant was to stop the commission from investigating him in order to cover up the alleged fraud perpetrated when he was FCT minister.

Justice Nyako, who held that the earlier judgment delivered still stands, however, declared that no court would stop the EFCC from investigating anyone in line with its constitutional mandate.
“No court, including this one, will allow itself to be used to shield anybody from being investigated by the 1st respondent,” the judge held.