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El-Rufai Must Be Given Fair Hearing in Corruption Probe, Says Ozekhome

El-Rufai Must Be Given Fair Hearing in Corruption Probe, Says Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome, a human rights lawyer, insists that former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai must be given a fair hearing in the corruption probe initiated by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

An ad hoc committee was set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly to investigate El-Rufai’s administration from 2015 to 2023. The committee recommended a probe into allegations of diversion of public funds and money laundering. Henry Zacharia, the committee chairman, presented the report on Wednesday, stating that many of the loans obtained by El-Rufai’s administration were not used for their intended purposes and did not follow due process.

The investigation involves examining loans, grants, and project implementations during El-Rufai’s tenure. The committee also called for the prosecution of some commissioners and officials who worked under El-Rufai.

Speaking on Channels Television’s “Sunrise Daily” on Thursday, Ozekhome emphasized that El-Rufai deserves a fair hearing. He said, “The assembly has merely made a recommendation and told the governor to implement it. The governor may decide whether to pursue the matter further, especially given the substantial amount involved—N423 billion.”

Ozekhome pointed out that El-Rufai has the right to challenge the indictment in court if he believes he was not given a fair trial. He questioned whether El-Rufai was invited to defend himself and stressed the importance of giving individuals the opportunity to respond to accusations.

“You don’t indict a person by proxy, especially in matters with criminal implications. It has to be the person directly involved,” Ozekhome said, underlining the necessity of following due process in such serious matters.

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