Court can’t shield you from EFCC’s investigation, judge tells el-Rufai

The Federal High Court in Abuja told the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Friday that it could not shield him from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s investigations into his roles as then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

The judge, Justice Binta Nyako, said this in a judgment on a suit instituted by el-Rufai.

The governor had sought in the suit to be cleared of mishandling of N32bn proceeds of sale of Federal Government’s houses in Abuja between May 2005 and 2007.

While the court granted the prayers sought by the governor by holding that he had properly accounted for the money, it ruled that no court could stop the anti-graft agency’s investigation into it.

“No court, including this one, will allow itself to be used to shield anybody from being investigated by the 1st respondent (the EFCC),” the judge said.

El-Rufai had filed the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/60/09 urging the court to hold that he complied with the guidelines approved by the Federal Executive Council  for the sale of Federal Government houses between May 2005 and May 2007.

He had also asked the court to declare that the sum of N32bn (or any sum whatsoever) from the proceeds of the sale of Federal Government of Nigeria Houses in FCT between May 2005 and 2007 was not missing.

He also sought 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.

The EFCC had, in opposing the suit, maintained that the motive of the applicant was to stop the commission from investigating him in order to cover up the alleged fraud perpetrated when he was FCT minister.

The judge granted the prayers sought by el-Rufai but noted that she could not stop EFCC’s investigations.
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