Just In – You can’t stop EFCC from investigating you – Court tells El-Rufai

The Federal High Court, Abuja, says Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of the State of Kaduna, can not impede his investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Binta Nyako said this in a complaint no: FHC / ABJ / CS/60/09 brought by El-Rufai when delivering the judgment on Friday.

The governor sought the court’s determination whether he had complied with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the selling of houses of the Federal Government between May 2005 and May 2007 as the then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while the claimant was El-Rufai, the defendants included: 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 original summons brought pursuant to Sections 302 of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 3 and 18 of the 1990 FCT Act, El-Rufai also sought a ruling from the court as to whether the proceeds from the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 and May 2007 were adequately accounted for or not in accordance with the mandate of the FEC and the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) guidelines.

“Whether the sum of N32 billion (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 relief from the court on “a statement that the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT was carried out in accordance with the mandate of the Federal Executive Council to the FCTA through the Ad Hoc Committee to sell non-essential houses in Abuja.
“A declaration that the proceeds of the sale of the said Federal Government houses conducted by the Ad hoc Committee on SOGH in Abuja between 2005 and 2007 were properly accounted for in accordance with the mandate and guidelines approved by the FEC.

“A declaration that the Audit Report prepared by the 12th and 13th respondents on the sale of Federal Government Houses in the FCT confirm that the Sale of Federal Government houses in FCT compiled with the approved guidelines for the sale of Federal Government properties in FCT and the proceeds were properly accounted for.

“A declaration that the proceeds of sale of Federal Government Houses in FCT between May 2005 and May 2007 were properly apportioned and accounted for in accordance with the approved guidelines as confirmed by the Audit Report of the 12th and 13th respondents, dated July 20, 2007.

“A declaration that the sum of N32 billion (or any sum whatsoever) from the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government of Nigeria Houses in FCT between May 2005 and 2007 is not missing.

“An order directing the 2nd respondent to disclose the exact amount remitted to the 5th respondent as the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 and May 2007.

“An order directing the 5th respondent to disclose the exact amount received from the 2nd respondent as the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT between May 2005 and May 2007.”

NAN recalls that in her judgment, Justice Nyako had previously granted the prayers of El-Rufai.

However, in the judgment on Friday, the judge noted that in opposition to the prayers, the EFCC had called the court’s attention to its counter-affidavit.

In its counter-affidavit, the anti-graft body submitted that the applicant’s aim was to stop the commission from investigating him and cover up the alleged fraud committed when he was FCT minister.
However, Justice Nyako, who held that the previous judgment still stands, declared that no court would prevent the EFCC from investigating anyone in accordance with its constitutional mandate.

“No court will allow itself to be used, including this one, to shield anyone from being investigated by the first respondent,” the judge said.