BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA – FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Monday dared the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to come and investigate him, saying he had nothing to hide.
The former minister, who urged the EFCC to stop what he described as innuendos, stressed that he had no apology for declining to align his political preferences to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he vowed to resist any attempt to foist the toga of a guilty man on him the way he did during late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Apparently reacting to moves by the EFCC to launch fresh probes into his alleged ownership of some companies, the former minister, who noted that he was not one of those people that could be whipped into line with threat of EFCC, said ‘’those who wish to investigate are welcome to it, but they should desist from careless whispers and dissemination of libel while hiding behind official cloaks.’’
In a statement yesterday by his Media Adviser, Muyiwa Adekeye, and made available to Vanguard, Mallam El Rufai said he had no multi-billion naira assets in any telecommunications company or in real estate anywhere.
The statement read in part: “Amidst the avalanche of news items about another EFCC investigation of his assets, Mallam Nasir El Rufai wishes to notify the public that the EFCC is up to its usual pastime of dealing in innuendo and falsehood.
“He was a successful professional, recognised as a leader in his specialty as a Quantity Surveyor and able in that capacity to earn reasonable income.
‘’Mallam El Rufai was a dollar millionaire in his 20’s, and he did not come into public service as a hungry, desperate pauper looking for loot to facilitate social climbing. He is justifiably proud of his professional accomplishments, and the assets and lifestyle he established before he accepted any public office.
‘’The EFCC claimed back in December 2008 that it had declared Mallam El Rufai wanted over a purported missing N32 billion proceeds from the sale of federal government houses in Abuja. It publicised this falsehood at every opportunity, but it has been unable to file charges because the N32 billion claim is useful only for the purposes of besmirching the character and record of an exemplary public servant.”
‘’Despite the admission by the government that it had withdrawn N46 billion from the banks in which El Rufai’s successor as FCT minister had placed them, the EFCC did not relent in its efforts to make a false accusation look true in the public eye. But when the EFCC went to court, it was to file charges about land matters, and these charges were quashed and dismissed by the Federal High Court. The EFCC has refiled the matter in the Abuja High Court, but that is expected to suffer the same fate.
‘’Mallam El Rufai has nothing to hide. Those who wish to investigate are welcome to it, but they should desist from careless whispers and dissemination of libel while hiding behind official cloaks. “He is not one of those people that can be whipped into line by threatened EFCC activity.
Mallam El Rufai has no apology for declining to align his political preferences to the current government. He resisted the Yar’Adua government’s efforts to abridge his liberty, and he would similarly resist any effort to foist the toga of a guilty man on him.’’