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N423b misappropriation: Ex-commissioners defend El-Rufai, dare Assembly to release report’s CTC

Commissioners that served under the administration of former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday rolled out figures aimed at discrediting the report of Kaduna State House of Assembly’s ad-hoc investigative committee.

The committee had, in its report, accused the administration of official corruption and misappropriation of public funds up to the tune of N423 billion.

But former commissioners had faulted the report and urged the committee to release the Certified True Copy. They also frowned that in the course of the investigation, the committee did not invite El-Rufai, the reason he approached the court to seek redress.

Eight former commissioners, including those of Environment and Education, Jafaru Sani; Human Services and Social Development, Hafsat Baba; Public Works and Infrastructure, Planning and Budget, Thomas Gyang; Finance, Bashir Saidu; Agriculture and Environment, Ibrahim Husaini; Justice, Aisha Dikko; Housing and Urban Development, Fausat Ibikunle; and Business, Innovation and Technology, Idris Nyam, had in a 22-page statement, jointly accused the ad-hoc committee of indulging in voodoo accounting just to concoct a scandal.

“The avalanche of figures seems only to have had the effect of mesmerising the legislators who cite one amount here and then, something different on exactly the same figure.”

In their calculations, they stated that: “The Audited Accounts of the State for 2015-2022, as certified by the Auditor-General and submitted to the State House of Assembly, and the unaudited accounts up to May 29, 2023, provided total receipts of N1,152,068,336,280.23; total expenditure for the same period, N1,320,016,507,917.24; Budget deficit for the same period, N167,948,171,637, the audited accounts, together with the five-month unaudited accounts for 2023, also provided a Personnel Cost of N361,615,641,995.04, Overhead Cost for the same period of N183,973,434,766.63, Capital Expenditure of N838,961,505,155.32 and Public Debt Charges of N7,810,202,724.86.

“If the Committee’s total of inflows above is correct, it means only N266 billion was available to the state government for all capital projects over eight years. Even a blind man that visits Kaduna Metropolis alone knows that the amount of development therein exceeds N266 billion. This allegation is falsehood in aid of legislative defamation,” they said.

Former commissioner Sani, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, claimed that budget deficits over the eight-year period of El-Rufai’s administration were financed through foreign and domestic loans as well as grants-in-aid.

“We have once again drawn attention to the glaring evidence of the hatchet job that passes for the report and the Ad-hoc Committee. It oozes malice and patent unfairness and raises the question why a House of Assembly that arranged extensive media coverage of its adoption of the Report has refused to provide certified true copies of the same Report more than a month after.

“It cannot be a reasonable assumption on their part that we will meekly accept this breach of fundamental rights or cower in the face of this premeditated assault on our reputations,” they held.

Author

  • Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

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