Court Frees El -Rufai On FCT Land-Deal Charges As EFCC Files Fresh Charges
San Francisco, Oct 20, (THEWILL) – A Federal court today in Abuja discharged former FCT Minister, Nasir El-Rufai of charges that he violated the law in allocating FCT lands to family members including his wives and cronies.
In a swift reaction to the ruling, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which is prosecuting the politician, said it has prepared fresh charges against Nasir El-Rufai adding that the charges are to be filed at a Federal Capital Territory High Court on Friday October 22, 2010.
The court had struck out an 8-count charge sheet against El-Rufai on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit and that the charges were filed based on an obsolete law.
The EFCC, had earlier investigated a petition chronicling allegations of abuse of office against Mallam El-Rufai on how he allocated government lands to his friends, wives and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja Master Plan.
According to the petition, the former minister, between 2003-2007, allocated ten plots of land in choice areas of Abuja and in various sizes to his family members, including his wife, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, who got two plots- one in the Asokoro district and the other in the Kubwa district. Other family members who were allegedly allocated plots are:
1 Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, JG 20007, 3379 2394.29, A04 Asokoro 26/01/2005 2 Bashir A El-Rufai, KD 20068, 1381 1745.14, A07 Wuse II 26/01/2005 3 Asia Ahmad El-Rufai, KN 20043, 3376 2208.12, A04 Asokoro 26/01/2005 4 Ibrahim El-Rufai, KD 20174, 3677 1997.92, A06 Maitama 27/06/2005 5 Binta Ahmed El-Rufai, KN 20090, 871 1562.81, B04 Jabi 25/03/2006 6 Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, KD 21188, 1417 629.23, F01 Kubwa 03/07/2007 7 Tijani Ahmed Rufai, KD 20564, 4062 542.27, F02 Bwari 24-Nov-05 8 Rufai Hamza, KN 20021 1132 1088, B05 Utako 12-Aug-04 9 Ali Rufai 3861, KD 20024, 2900, A04 Asokoro 12-Aug-04 On the strength of these allegations, he was arraigned at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on an eight-count charge before Justice Adamu Bello.
The EFCC says it will not be deterred by the court’s ruling but will instead, go ahead with fresh charges and prove its case against the former minister.