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Tension in Kaduna as protesters storm govt house, demand El-Rufai's arrest

The Kaduna State House of Assembly had indicted the El-Rufai administration for ₦423 billion misappropriation.

Tension in Kaduna as protesters storm govt house, demand El-Rufai's arrest

The protesters created a brief moment of tension in the North-West state on Thursday, June 20, 2024, when they arrived at the government house singing solidarity songs and displaying placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, ‘We will occupy all MDAs to chase out all indicted persons in the report’. ‘Stop servicing all loans that did not follow due process before they were obtained.’

They asked the incumbent Governor, Uba Sani, to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies to arrest and prosecute El-Rufai and his administration over a ₦423 indictment.

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This followed a recent report by the state House Assembly alleging diversion of loans, mismanagement of funds, overpayment of contractors, and lack of transparency in the usage of state funds during the El-Rufai regime.

Recall Sani had raised the alarm in March 2024 that the state faced a substantial debt burden of $587 million, ₦85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities inherited from his predecessor.

As a result, Sani said over 70% of the state’s allocation was being used to service the inherited debt.

This prompted the state assembly to institute an ad-hoc committee led by Barrister Henry Danjuma Magaji to investigate the state’s financial transactions from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023.

Submitting its report on June 5, the committee said it uncovered significant unaccounted funds and irregularities in financial transactions.

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Meanwhile, the protesters have commended the state assembly for unravelling the alleged corruption under the previous administration.

Speaking at the Kaduna government house, the Chairman of the protesting group, Comrade Victor Duniya, said that the state had endured financial mismanagement, abuse of power, and a growing debt burden for the past eight years.

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“The most troubling finding was the diversion of 10.5 billion naira meant for pastoral nomadism and the construction of the Milk Industry at Damau, Kubau LGA, for the construction of Galaxy Mall, Kaduna. Additionally, the report uncovered overpayments to contractors, payments to unregistered companies, and funds disbursed for work not completed, amounting to over 36.3 billion.

“The report also revealed large sums of money withdrawn from the state treasury without proper documentation of its usage. Furthermore, an expenditure of over 11 billion on a non-existent MRT transportation scheme was documented with no evidence to support it," Duniya said.

He called on Governor Sani to implement relevant sections of the report that fall under his purview and officially forward the committee's findings to relevant anti-corruption agencies to spur them into action.

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