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Between EFCC and Nasir el-Rufai


SIR: Upon his recent return to the country, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai made clear that it is his personal priority to clear his name of the slander that the EFCC has for the last two years taken the lead role in spreading. It is no surprise, therefore, that the EFCC is persisting in its campaign of falsehood and innuendo against Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. The EFCC has in the last three days been releasing fantastic tales about El Rufai’s return and boasting about the imminent execution of an arrest warrant.
We can confirm that Mallam El Rufai has received an invitation from the EFCC (which he would honour) after his lawyers wrote the EFCC to formally notify it of their client’s return to Nigeria and express his readiness to attend any interview the EFCC might require. This is an independent initiative, flowing from Mallam El Rufai’s determination to resolve all pending legal matters through the judicial system. For this reason, he would be in court on Thursday, May 6, 2010 which is the next adjourned date for the case the Federal Government has filed against him (FRN v. El Rufai; ABJ/CR/60/2009), pending before Justice Bello. There is no need for precipitate haste on the part of the EFCC to arrest him on this matter.

Mallam El Rufai’s interest in justice is both apparent and real, and he would be in court both to defend himself and to advance the slew of cases he has instituted against various Federal Government agencies, including the EFCC.

One of these cases addresses the vexed issue of N32 billion, and it was filed by Mallam El Rufai to seek the court’s declaration that no such funds went missing under his watch. The EFCC has been misleading public opinion on this matter by persistently insinuating that it has evidence that N32 billion is missing from the proceeds of the sale of public houses. After two years of lying, it is now saying that only N1.6 billion is missing. There is no doubt that the perverse fiction that contrived the tale of N32 billion, then shrank it to N1.6 billion will ultimately collapse and be displaced by the fact that no such funds disappeared. Malice can only go so far!

This N32 billion saga was supposed to be the trump card in the failed attempt to destroy El-Rufai. It first reared its head during the Senate committee hearings on the FCT in 2008. But because there was no substance to it, the allegation did not even feature in either the committee’s final report nor in the decision of the entire Senate on the committee’s report. The government had in late 2008 also announced that it had recovered the said monies from the banks in which El Rufai’s successor as FCT minister had placed them. The next adjourned date for this matter, El Rufai v. EFCC & 12 ORS (FHC/ABJ/CS/69/08) is June 14, 2010, and Mallam El Rufai would be there on that day as well.

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