Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to stop the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai’s actions in office as then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
Justice Nyako held in her judgement over a suit filed by el-Rufai to enforce his fundamental human rights that the court could not shield him from investigations by the anti-graft agency.
The governor had specifically asked the court to clear him of mishandling the N32 billion 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 held.
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.
The Governor had also urged the court to declare that the sum of N32 billion (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.
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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.
Justice Nyako granted the prayers sought by el-Rufai but noted that she could not stop EFCC’s investigations into the matter.