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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Probe: El-Rufai, ex-commissioners ‘mismanaged N423b’ – Kaduna Assembly

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Former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his aides blew N423 billion in eight years, the State House of Assembly alleged yesterday.
It urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the former governor and his appointees for unauthorised cash withdrawals in dollar and naira.

It alleged receipt of loans without and withdrawals from accounts without following due process.

But the ex-governor described the report as “jaundiced and politically-motivated”, promising to “respond roboustly” after getting the full report.

The House received the report of the ad hoc committee set up to investigate all finances, loans and contracts awarded by the former governor.

The report indicted El-Rufai and many of his commissioners and aides.

The House alleged that N423 billion of the state resources was siphoned under El-Rufa’i.

It mandated Governor Uba Sani to refer the former governor and others indicted aides to relevant security agencies for investigation.

Chairman of the ad-hoc committee and Deputy Speaker, Henry Magaji Danjuma, presented the report during plenary yesterday.

The report alleged that most of the loans obtained by the El-Rufai Administration were not used for the purpose for which they were secured, while due process was not followed in some cases.

The Speaker, Yusuf Liman, said the past administration’s financial activities left the state with huge liabilities.

The report was adopted and its recommendations were forwarded to the governor for immediate action.

Part of the recommendations is that the governor should suspend immediately commissioner for finance Shizzer Nasara Bada, who played the same role during the El-Rufai Administration.

The House alleged that the humongous withdrawals of cash in naira and dollar from the state’s coffers had no supporting records of utilisation.

It further alleged that El-Rufa’i connived with commissioners and heads of parastatals to defraud the state by issuing directives to the Kaduna Public Procurement Agency (KADPPA) to circumvent due process in the payment to contractors.

The report says: “The Governor of Kaduna State, between 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023 as the Chief Executive Officer of the State, breached his oath of office contained in the 7th Schedule to the Constitution and failed to exercise due discretion in the administration of the state.

“He indulged in plunging the state into unwanted, unjustified and fraudulent domestic and foreign debts over and above the total loans obtained by Kaduna State from 1965 to 1999 majority of which were obtained without due process.”

The House accused him of reckless award of contracts without due process and execution, leading to several abandoned projects despite payments.

The House alleged that some government contractors were overpaid, while others collected money without executing the projects.

It asked the contractors to refund N36.3 billion to the state government, being either overpayments, monies paid for work not done and funds diverted.

The committee recommended that the current Commissioner for Finance, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Executive Secretary of the State Pension Bureau should step aside to allow for proper investigation into the activities of the ministry and agencies.

The House said it has evidence of several cases of corruption in the running of the affairs of the government, ministries, departments and agencies from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023.

It recommended that all those who served as finance commissioners and accountant-generals within the period be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for thorough investigation.

It also identified chairmen of Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) from 2018 to 2023 for referral to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Those in service asked to step aside are the Commissioner of Finance, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Executive Secretary of the State Pension Bureau, and Managing Directors of the Kaduna Market Development and Management Company Ltd.

Also to be referred for probe is the coordinator of the Kaduna Irrigation Programmes for the cultivation of Wheat at Ruwan Sanyi, Kubau Local Government Area in 2016 or thereabout.

The House added: “That, Ms. Dolapo Popoola, the immediate past Managing Director of ALL KAPSCO whose where about is not known, be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation into her handling of the affairs of the company and for the recovery of all government properties in her possession.

“That Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Kaduna State on Media and Communication be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation on his involvement in the contracts in Kaduna State Media Corporation (KSMC).

“That, all the Managing Directors of Kaduna Roads Agency (KADRA) from 11th October 2017 to November 2021 except Engineer Amina Ja’afar Ladan who only spent a month in office, be referred for in-depth investigation into their roles in the award and poor execution of contracts during their tenure, while management and senior staff of the agency be redeployed to other relevant ministries and agencies.”

The House said there were unjustified cash withdrawals to the tune of N4,936,916,333.00 between 2019 to 2022 by the finance commissioner and the Accountant General, as well as $1.4 Million from the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Account.

The House asked for the recovery of N632,456,000.00 paid to Tulip Future Associates Ltd without official engagement as consultants.

The report adds: “That, the sum of N80,000,000.00 only paid to EDI-JEN CO. LTD on the 3rd of March, 2023 as imprest while he was not a government employee be recovered by the Kaduna State Government.

“That, the sum of N757,426,000.00 only paid by the Ministry of Finance…in the name of Sarkin Ayuka Global Resources Ltd, being excess gains in the exchange of the sum of $2,600.000.00, be recovered and paid into the Kaduna State Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.

“That the sum of N1,412,031,860.00 only which the committee found was fraudulently paid into the Account of MISHA Travels Agency by the Accountant General of the State be recovered and paid into the Kaduna State Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.

“That, the sum of N333,000,000.00 paid to ALMASS MULTI LINKS VENTURES be recovered.

“That the total amount to be refunded to the state government by the underlisted persons is as follows: Bashir Saidu, Shizzer Nasara Bada, Tulip Future Associates Ltd, EDI-JEN CO. LTD, Sarkin Ayuka Global Resources Ltd, Misha Travels, ALMASS MULTI LINKS VENTURES, Nuren Mumeen, Damola Uzosike Chinedu. Total: $19,239,511,099.76.”

The House said there were withdrawals from the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Account (Shizzer Nasara Bada) totalling $1,400,000.00 23. 24.

The Assembly, on April 16, passed a resolution to probe the last administration.

It stated: “The Kaduna State House of Assembly at its 150th sitting on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, resolved and constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate loans, financial transactions, contractual liabilities and other related matters of the government of Kaduna State from 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023.”

A 13-member committee was mandated to comprehensively review the state’s financials under El-Rufai.

The Nation

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