Alleged Graft: Court Cleared El-Rufai Of Alleged Misappropriation Of N32bn, Says Counsel

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Photo: Twitter

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says the Federal High Court, Abuja had cleared him of allegations of misappropriation of the sum of N32 billion from the sale of some Federal Government houses when he was the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said this in reaction to reports which according to him, had misrepresented Justice Binta Nyako’s reaffirmation of an earlier judgement, by portraying him as preventing the EFCC from perform its duties.

Speaking through his counsel, Abduhakeem Mustapha (SAN) in a statement, El-Rufai noted that he had approached the court in 2009 to clear his name when he was being ‘smeared’ by the anti-graft agency.

“At no point did Nasir El-Rufai seek to stop the EFCC from performing its statutory functions. Rather, he only went to court in 2009 to defend his reputation” the statement read in part.

According to Mustapha, “the EFCC sustained a media campaign that N32bn was missing, compelling El-Rufai to approach the court for a declaratory judgment which had since been given in his favour.”

He further explained that it was the declaratory judgement that Justice Nyako reaffirmed in her ruling, reiterating that the declaratory orders in favour of the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), subsist.

According to him, the clarification became necessary because of “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”.

The statement recalled that as Minister of FCT, El-Rufai allocated plots in Abuja to more than 27,000 Nigerians and presided over a transparent process that sold government houses and earned the Federal Government a whopping N32bn.

“No decent man would permit slurs on such a stellar record. Therefore, Malam Nasir El-Rufai approached the court and the court agreed with him that there is no missing N32bn proceeds of sale of government houses,” Mustapha argued further.

“The court also held that the proceeds of the sales of the government houses were properly accounted for and audited”.

El-Rufai Enrols Six-Year-Old Son In Public Primary School

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Monday enrolled his six-year-old son into a public primary school.

The governor’s son, Abubakar Al-Sadiq El-Rufai was enrolled by his father into primary one in Capital School Malali, Kaduna.

After the registration process was completed at the school principal’s office,  El-Rufai told journalists that the decision is in fulfillment of his campaign promise to improve the quality of public education in Kaduna State.

“The move is part of reforms to revamp public schools in the state to make them more competitive.

“We are determined to fix public education and raise their standards so that private education will become only a luxury.

“I went to a public school like this, in fact, the school I went to was not even as good as this but here I am because of the quality of the teaching I got.

“It is our intention in Kaduna State government to ensure that all our public schools offer quality education and we are encouraging all our senior public servants to have their children in public schools,” El-Rufai said.

Accompanied by his wife, Ummi, El-Rufai noted that it is only when political leaders send their children to public schools that they will be forced to pay attention to the quality of public education in the country.

He, however, stresses that the law does not allow him to force anyone to embrace the policy.

The governor’s wife, Ummi expressed mixed feelings about taking her child to a public school.

She also agreed that her husband’s action is the only way leaders can live by example and ensure that public institutions are given proper attention.

The governor’s son, on his part,  expressed happiness to assist his father to fulfill his campaign promise.

El-Rufa’i had in a state broadcast in December 2017, promised to enroll his child in a public school when he turns six years.

PHOTOS: El-Rufai Gets New Title

Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai was on Tuesday honoured with a traditional title. 

He was bestowed with the title of Garkunwa Talakawa by the Jama’a Emirate in Kafanchan.

The governor also celebrated the Eid-el-kabir at Jama’a Emirate where he observed the Eid-El-Kabir prayers.

See photos below…

El-Rufai Asks Nigerians To Reduce Visits To Buhari

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has appealed to Nigerians to reduce the frequency of their visit to the Presidential Villa and give President Muhammadu Buhari some space to recover.

Answering questions from journalists after a Jumat service at the Aso Villa also attended by the President, Governor El-Rufai said the number of visitors coming to the Villa to see the President had become a strain on him as he needs some time to rest.

“I believe that what the President needs is for those that love him to keep away from him and allow him to rest. The President needs quality time to rest because it is meeting too many people that strains leadership.

“I am a governor and I know that when I meet 10 people in a day, I get so tired. It is not the paper work, it is not reading the memos and approving them or asking questions that strains a leader. It is the stream of visitors.

“I don’t want to contribute to the President’s problems by coming here everyday. I plead to all of us that love the President to please allow him some space so that he can recover. We need him, the country needs him,” El-rufai pleaded.

Meanwhile, his appeal is coming at a time when there has been war of words between himself and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, over a controversial budget issue.

Dogara had challenged governors to make public their security budgets, as well as provide details of how they disburse local government funds.

While the Kaduna State Governor disclosed details of his monthly salary and security votes, he asked the National Assembly to do same, a challenge that now seems to be taking a new twist.

Religious Leaders Seek Stronger Muslim-Christian Relationship

Religious Leaders Seek Stronger Muslim-Christian RelationshipReligious leaders are seeking for stronger Muslim-Christian relations, to end the ethno-religious conflicts that have engulfed Southern Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria over the years.

The leaders, including the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, and Sheik Ahmed Gumi, made the call at the graduation ceremony of some clerics from the Christian-Muslim Relations Centre in Kaduna State.

They identified ignorance about the teachings of Islam and Christianity as largely responsible for the various ethno-religious conflicts across the country.

The clerics asked government to rise up to its responsibilities of protecting lives and property, and to also ensure that those responsible for the Southern Kaduna crises were brought to justice.

Speaking at the ceremony, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church Worldwide and Founder of the Centre, Bishop Idowu Fearon, noted that diversity in religion and tribe is a blessing from God and not a tool for division.

“Kaduna will become a state where Christians and Muslims, in spite of our differences, can work together for peace, freedom and the culture of respect,” he said.

On his part, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, condemned the killing of innocent people in Southern Kaduna by gunmen.

He also warned religious, political and traditional rulers against making inflammatory statements that can worsen the situation.

“The responsibility of all persons of faith is so immense, including the obligation to uphold truth and to promote ethical conduct and respect for others.

“Anybody that wishes to be magisterial to issue statements laden with certainty to their followers must first ensure that what they say, or what they are saying is not only factual, but does not violate any laws”, he warned.

The Christian-Muslim Relations Centre is founded to serve as a veritable platform for genuine interaction, and to promote harmonious relationship among Christians and Muslims in Kaduna State.

Stakeholders expressed hope that the engagement would continue to promote interfaith platforms for religious scholars and leaders, as well as foster religious freedom among others.

El-Rufai Swears In New Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna,The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has sworn-in four new commissioners and eight permanent secretaries.

The new commissioners sworn in included: Barrister Umma Hikima, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, Commissioner for Local Government, Professor Kabir Mohammed Mato, Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry and Hafsat Mohammed Baba, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.

The governor also appointed two caretaker chairmen for Giwa and Zangon-Kataf Local Government Areas.

In his address at the inauguration of the appointees, El-Rufai said his government decided to bring new commissioners to energize the administration for better performance.

While commending the former commissioners for their service rendered to the people of Kaduna state, he explained that none of them were dropped or sacked but were deployed to handle other government assignments.

He reminded the appointees that they were joining the cabinet at a time the state and country as a whole is facing economic challenges, hence they must work harder to deliver on their mandate.

“I thank the former commissioners for their service in our state. I want to make it clear that we didn’t drop any commissioner.

“None of our commissioners was dropped. Some former commissioners have been deployed to other functions of government. So, our team is intact and we are all together.

“We carefully selected our team members. We decided to bring new commissioners to energize the administration and to inject new blood.

“You are joining a ‘wahala’ team and I sympathise with you because we work with little earnings.

“The permanent secretaries were chosen based on their competence, integrity and all the directors chosen to be permanent secretaries sat for exams and faced oral interview so, we have the best of permanent secretaries,” he explained.

Some of the appointees thanked the governor for deeming them fit to serve in his administration, hence, promised to contribute their quota towards making Kaduna state great again.

Southern Kaduna Attacks: El-Rufai Commends Zauru Community For Rescuing Victims

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna, Zauru communityKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has commended Zauru community in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area for rescuing over 30 persons who were attacked by hoodlums.

The commendation was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the governor’s spokesman, Mr Samuel Aruwan.

Governor El-Rufai said apart from resisting the hoodlums, the community also alerted security agencies who were able to evacuate 30 persons, mostly children, women and aged men to Kafanchan.

“I received the news with joy. The action taken by Zauro community to protect their neighbours is laudable.

“This is a bold step for peace and harmony. It testifies to the fact that there are people who do their utmost for common humanity; all our communities should emulate Zauro, and uphold each other.

“This gesture is significant. It reinforces our confidence that ordinary citizens, living together and promoting harmony, are the best guarantee of sustainable peace.

“I hereby commend the entire Zauru community for this act, their exemplary conduct has gladdened everyone involved in the quest for peace,” the statement read.

Recall that Zauro community in Bajju Chiefdom resisted a group of hoodlums who stormed their community with intent of attacking some settlements.

Gov El-Rufai Reshuffles Cabinet, Drops Four Commissioners

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna, Commissioners, CabinetKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday, sacked four commissioners from his cabinet.

In a minor change of cabinet, Governor El-Rufai nominated replacements for the sacked commissioner for confirmation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA).

The Clerk of the House of Assembly, Umma Hikima, was appointed as the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of the state, while Professor Kabiru Mato was nominated as the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry.

Hafsat Baba was also appointed as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and Jafaru Sani as the Commissioner for Local Government.

The governor also redeployed the Commissioner of Justice to environment, the Commissioner for Agriculture to Commerce and the Commissioner for Environment to the newly created Ministry of Stakeholders Relations.

“The commissioners swapping portfolios include Amina Sijuwade, moved from Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, while Maigari Manzo moved from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

“Shehu Balarabe moves from Ministry of Environment to become Commissioner, Stakeholder Relations, while Mohammed Bashir Saidu who is now Chief of Staff, relinquishes the office of Commissioner for Local Government.

“Rabi Abdulsalam, former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, becomes Special Adviser on Social Development, while Shehu Adamu, former Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, returns to academia,” said a statement released by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.

Governor El-Rufai also reassigned three special advisers namely: Uba Sani as Special Adviser, Political Matters and Intergovernmental Relations; Chris Umar, Deputy Chief of Staff is to become Solicitor-General, while Murtala Dabo, Special Adviser, Economic Matters, is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport.

He further announced the appointment of eight new permanent secretaries.

They include Mohammed Shuaibu, Ministry of Health and Human Services; Chris Umar, Ministry of Justice; Rabilu Ibrahim, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and Joseph Steven, Ministry of Local Government.

Also appointed as permanent secretaries were Habiba Shekarau, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Lawrence Shemang, Ministry of Water Resources, Murtala Dabo, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport; and Abdullahi Sani, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Office of the SSG.

Mr El-Rufai stated that five permanent secretaries have been redeployed as follows: Hauwa Umar, Ministry of Women and Social Development; Ibrahim Jere, Bureau of Establishments, Management and Training; Ibrahim Sambo, Ministry of Rural and Community Development; Nuhu Buzun, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service; and Aishatu Mohammed, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

However, five other permanent secretaries have retired.

The governor thanked all members of the team for the successes the State Government has recorded so far and wished them good luck in their future endeavours.

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern Kaduna

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern KadunaThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has laid the foundation stone for a military battalion in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jemaa Local Government Area of the state as part of effort to end Southern Kaduna crisis.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, General Buratai said that the decision to establish a military formation in the area was in line with the mandate of the military to protect the territorial integrity of the nation as well as providing internal security of lives and property of the citizens.

He warned that the Nigerian military will not spare anyone or group that is behind the restiveness in the area, and assured residents that the presence of the Army in Southern Kaduna is basically to restore peace.

The atmosphere was that of joy and optimism as the people rolled out their drums to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony for the building of a military formation in the area.

For too long, the people have been faced with incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, with many killed, injured and rendered homeless.

Asides the Army boss and the state governor, traditional rulers and other dignitaries were also present to perform the ground breaking ceremony.

The Army boss was optimistic that with the deployment of troops to the troubled communities, the present crisis will come to an end.

He also appealed to all the warring parties to sheath their swords.

“Anywhere that my troops were sent to maintain peace, it is part of my schedule to visit them and to see how they are carrying out their statutory functions in line with rules of engagement.

“The present crisis is coming to an end. Now, we have restored normalcy in the troubled areas. People have started coming back to their homes. I was in Ninte this morning. I saw the farmers and the Fulani. I spoke with them on the need to live in peace with one another.

“You can’t separate the farmers and the herdsmen. They have a long history of co-existence. So, they must live together. The better they live together the better for them and everyone,” the COAS said.

On his part, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the military authorities for deeming it fit to site a military battalion in Southern Kaduna.

He acknowledged that this will help in curbing the security challenges in the area.

He also reiterated that all those involved in the attacks that have claimed so many lives must be brought to book in order to serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.

He assured Buratai of the state government’s commitment to fast track the deployment of troops by providing accommodation and other facilities for their operation.

“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the two military battalions in Kaduna South senatorial zone. We will provide military with facilities to deploy its personnel as many as they can to secure Southern Kaduna” the said.

Kaduna: El-Rufai Appoints Bariatu Mohammed As Head Of Service

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State, Bariatu MohammedKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has announced the appointment of Bariatu Mohammed as the new Head of Service in the state.

Mrs Mohammed succeeded Alisabatu Dada-Onazi who retired from service on December 31, 2016.

Governor El-Rufai commended the retired Head of Service for her hard work and foresight in driving ongoing reforms in the Kaduna State Civil Service.

He said the government was indebted to her for her resilience towards the success of the staff verification exercise, which he said laid the foundation for the reforms of the service.

Meanwhile, Mrs Mohammed’s appointment was announced in a statement issued on Friday by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.

The new Head of Service, who hails from Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area, joined the state civil service on August 7, 1984.

She rose to the rank of Permanent Secretary on April 1, 2012.

Until her elevation, Mrs Mohammed was at various times permanent secretary at the Public Service Office, Bureau of Establishments, Management Services and Training, as well as office of the Head of Service.

Soldiers Recover Arms From Herdsmen In Southern Kaduna

Soldiers Recover Arms From Herdsmen In Southern KadunaSoldiers from the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, have recovered arms and ammunition from suspected Fulani herdsmen and villagers during an operation in Southern Kaduna.

The soldiers were deployed to the area as part of efforts to end the killings in some communities in the area.

The General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Kaduna State, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who disclosed this in a statement, explained that the Army had been meeting with the Fulani and the villagers in a bid to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

He said the Army authorities had also approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna for as long as possible.

He said, “We have presently mopped up arms from the Fulani herdsmen and the locals.

“Our operations based on intelligence gathering are still ongoing and we are also working with the Department of State Services.

“As it is well known, the Army has approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna. One of them is in Kafanchan. So, we are not leaving. We will be there for as long as it’s necessary.

“We have other fundamental issues in the area, which the political leadership needs to resolve.

The Governor has engaged various stakeholders and as our operations continue, peace is returning.

“People are returning to their villages. However, it will take some time for them to calm down.

“They are repairing their burnt houses and they are also clearing their farmlands.

“We have assured them of maximum protection on their farms, and also for the Fulani herdsmen when they need to lead their cows for grazing”.

Southern Kaduna: President Buhari Orders Strong Action

Southern Kaduna: President Buhari Orders Strong Action President Muhammadu Buhari has been giving instructions for decisive measures aimed at bringing an end to the recurring acts of violence and destruction in the Southern part of Kaduna State.

President Buhari has equally directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to carry out a joint assessment of the situation with the sister agency in Kaduna, SEMA, to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.

This is according to Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu.

According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, on the directive of President Buhari, was in the region on Saturday and Sunday to assess the situation at first hand.

“In addition to the conventional policemen deployed in the area, a squadron of mobile policemen has now been stationed there.

The Nigerian Army is also in the process of setting up two battalions in Southern Kaduna while the military continues to carry out air surveillance across flash points of the area.

“These measures should soon ensure the return of normalcy to the region, while the Kaduna State government continues its peace building efforts,” he stated.

The President commended efforts of the State government and the security agencies in the steps taken so far to curtail the violence.

President Buhari has, once again, sent condolences to the people of Southern Kaduna, who have lost loved ones in the recent violence.