Attempt At Reputation Damage – Ex-Kaduna Commissioners Condemn El-Rufai’s Probe

Former cabinet members in the administration of Nasir el-Rufai, the ex-governor of Kaduna, have reacted to the probe of their principal by the state house of assembly.

In a statement on Tuesday, eight former commissioners under the el-Rufai administration described the probe as an “attempt to inflict maximum reputational damage on certain selected members of the Kaduna State Executive Council, Class of 2015-2023”.

On March 30, Uba Sani, the incumbent governor of Kaduna, said his administration inherited a debt of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the el-Rufai administration.

He said the huge debt burden is eating deep into the state's share of the monthly federation allocation.

Subsequently, the state's assembly set up a committee to probe the finances of Kaduna under the former administration.

On June 5, the Kaduna assembly recommended the probe of el-Rufai over the allegation of public funds diversion and money laundering.

The assembly made the recommendation after a report by the ad hoc committee.

However, the former cabinet members said the committee's report “oozes malice and patent unfairness” toward the administration of the former governor.

The former cabinet members include Jafaru Sani, commissioner for education; Hafsat Baba, commissioner for human services and social development; Thomas Gyang, commissioner for public works and infrastructure, planning, and budget; Bashir Saidu, commissioner for finance; Ibrahim Husaini, commissioner for agriculture and environment; Aisha Dikko, commissioner for justice; Fausat Ibikunle, commissioner for housing and urban development; and Idris Nyam, former commissioner for business, innovation, and technology.

They said there is a dissonance between the recommendations of the assembly and the testimonies of the ad-hoc committee.

The ex-cabinet members also faulted discrepancies in the figures mentioned in the ad committee's report, adding that “scrutiny of the report easily shows that the ad-hoc committee is inconsistent.”

“Why would the House of Assembly be unable to officially release the report to persons who were summoned by its ad-hoc committee, which took their testimonies and then proceeded to write baseless recommendations?” the statement reads.

“As senior officials in the El-Rufai Administration, which served the people of Kaduna State between May 2015 and May 2023, we restate our pride in the dedication and integrity of our service.

“We have previously described the report circulating on social media as an unprofessional document, tainted by bias, exhibiting no serious interest in establishing facts.

“It is apparent that the report is riddled with inaccuracies and instances of falsification and misrepresentation of the testimonies provided by invited officials.

“There is a dissonance between its recommendations and the testimonies the ad-hoc committee heard.

“It bears restating that its conclusions seem to have been decided beforehand and were insulated from the facts.”

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