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N32 Billion Fraud Investigation: Transparency Group Urges Tinubu to Drop El-Rufai for Ministerial Consideration

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ABUJA, Nigeria — The Forum for Transparency and Accountability in Governance, a leading civil society group in Nigeria, has called on President Bola Tinubu to remove Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna, from his proposed ministerial list due to a pending fraud case.

The group, in a statement on Saturday, July 22, 2023, jointly signed by its Convener, Dr. Bala Musa Mustapha, Secretary General, Mr Nouel Malama, and Director of Publicity, Nafisa Hamid Jika, expressed concerns about a N32 billion fraud allegation against El-Rufai, currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“Any government that prides itself on probity and accountability should not be seen to patronize the likes of the former governor of Kaduna State,” the statement read. “It’s in the public domain that Malam Nasir El-Rufai is facing prosecution of N32 billion in Court.”

The group further emphasized that now that El-Rufai has lost his immunity following the end of his tenure as governor, he should face the legal consequences of his alleged actions.

The civil society group also referenced the case of former Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who is currently facing public rejection due to allegations of a past bribery scandal.

“What is good for Ganduje should be good for El-Rufai,” the statement continued. “We hope that President Tinubu will come out clean on the El-Rufai issue, while we hope that he should not allow Nigerians to hit the streets before doing the right thing.”

The group urged the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to diligently prosecute both former and incumbent public officials with pending cases, to prevent the perception of selective justice.

This call adds to the intensifying public scrutiny of Nigeria’s political elite and reflects the wider societal demand for greater accountability in governance.

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