Alleged N423 billion Fraud: EFCC sets up team to probe El-Rufai

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised a team of operatives to probe alleged mismanagement of N423 billion by former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and some key members of his government.

It was learnt that the former governor will soon be invited for questioning.

Others slated for interrogation are those who served as Finance commissioners from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023; all the accountants-general in the eight years that his administration lasted and the chairmen of the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) from 2018 to 2023.

Others are all the managing directors of the Kaduna Market Development and Management Company Ltd from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023; and all the Managing Directors of Kaduna Roads Agency (KADRA) from October 11, 2017, to November 2021 except Amina Ja’afar Ladan, an engineer who spent only one month in office.

More revelations have been made on the alleged corruption during El-Rufai’s tenure.

The Ad-Hoc Committee of the Kaduna House of Assembly uncovered that about N423,115,028,072.88 was siphoned from the coffers of the state government from 2015 to 2023.

It also spotted a cumulative withdrawal of $1.4 million from the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Account.

The House panel has asked eight people and companies to refund N19, 239,511,099.76

It has also recommended that 15 contractors should refund N36, 351,126,811.65 as “being monies paid for work either not done, overpayment or diversion”.

The committee said that although the value of contracts awarded from 1999 to 2023 by el-Rufai’s administration was N510,407,166,975.39, it only paid N198,921,880,169.04 to contractors.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that a Special Task Force was assigned to look into a petition by a Non-Governmental Organisation mainly on the findings of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

It was learnt that the team immediately swung into action yesterday for a review and isolation of the allegations against the ex-governor, some past commissioners and aides.

A top source, who spoke to newsmen said: “We are in receipt of a petition from an NGO. So, we have started investigation in the matters raised in the petition.

“The report of the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Kaduna State House of Assembly is also handy. We will soon invite el-Rufai and some members of his team for interrogation.

“The Special Task Force on Monday (yesterday) held a long session on the contents of the petition and the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee.”

The source added: “The report of the House of Assembly has actually laid a solid foundation for the probe by our team.”

EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Dele Oyewale, was unavailable to respond to our correspondent’s enquiries last night.

But there were revelations in the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee that were not in the public domain.

The committee has asked eight people and companies to refund N19, 239,511,099.76.

It has also directed 15 contractors to refund N36, 351,126,811.65 “being monies paid for work either not done, overpayment or diversion”.

The report also clarified that at the time el-Rufai took over on May 29, 2015, all domestic loans had been re-paid by the previous administration.

It also established that between 1965 and 31st December 2014, the total foreign loans as contained in the handover note of the state to el-Rufai stood at $234 million.

But within eight years of el-Rufai’s tenure, Kaduna State’s liability on domestic and foreign loans amounted to N98,912,000,000.00 and $758,141,699 respectively.

The committee findings indicated that most of the loans were obtained without due process and not utilised for the purpose they were meant for.

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