Friday, October 22, 2010

EFCC files fresh charges against El-Rufai

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday at the FCT High Court filed fresh charges against Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the FCT.

It will be recalled that El-Rufai was on Wednesday in Abuja discharged by a Federal High Court on the eight-count charge for lack of jurisdiction to try the case.

Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court had said that the charges were brought under the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, which had been repealed.

Confirming the filing of the suit by EFCC lawyer, Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Femi Babafemi, said that EFCC, through Mr Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) filed an eight count charge against El-Rufai.

The EFCC, he said filed charges on May 5 against El-Ruafai over alleged criminal conspiracy and abuse of office.

The charges, he said included irregular revocation and re-allocation of a parcel of land originally belonging to PHCN Plc.

``As you well remember, the Federal High Court through the Honourable Justice Bello said that the court lacked the jurisdiction to try the accused.

``He also said that the charges ought to have been filed under the amended Act of 2003 at the FCT High Courts.

``The EFCC had earlier investigated a petition chronicling allegations of abuse of office against Malam El-Rufai.

``On how he allocated government land to his friends, wives and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja master plan.

``The former minister, between 2003-2007, allocated 10 plots of land in choice areas of Abuja and in various sizes to his family members.

``Those, who got the land include 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 Bashir A El-Rufai, Asia Ahmad El-Rufai, Ibrahim El-Rufai, and Binta Ahmed El-Rufai.

Also included are Tijani Rufai, Rufai Hamza, and Ali Rufai,'' Babafemi said.

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