June 13, 2024

A group known as the Forum for Transparency and Accountability in Governance has urged President Bola Tinubu not to yield to pressure from politicians who have pending corruption cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while appointing individuals for ministerial positions.

The group specifically highlighted that former governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano should be kept at a distance and excluded from positions of power.

This call comes in anticipation of the much-awaited list of ministerial nominees by the 10th Senate. President Tinubu has a statutory period of 60 days to present the list to the upper legislative chamber for screening.

The Forum for Transparency and Accountability in Governance, in a statement jointly signed by its convener, Bala Mustapha, secretary-general Nouel Malama, and director of publicity, Nafisa Jika, stressed that President Tinubu should exercise caution and avoid appointing politicians with questionable character into his cabinet.

The group pointed out that Nasir El-Rufai is currently facing trial for allegedly embezzling N32 billion in revenue from the sales of federal government houses between 2005 and 2007 when he served as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. The prosecution of El-Rufai had been progressing at the Federal High Court until he assumed office as the governor of Kaduna State in May 2015, when the immunity of his office halted the proceedings. The group believes that the anti-graft agency should have resumed his prosecution after his eight-year tenure as governor.

The statement emphasized that any government claiming to prioritize probity and accountability should not be seen endorsing politicians with ongoing corruption cases, citing El-Rufai’s situation as a clear example.

The group also mentioned Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the former governor of Kano State, who faced rejection due to allegations involving dollar bribes. It urged that what applies to Ganduje should equally apply to El-Rufai, and called on President Tinubu to handle the El-Rufai issue transparently and not wait for public protests before taking appropriate action.

Furthermore, the group called on the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to diligently prosecute former and current public officers who have pending corruption cases.

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