A- Malam Uba Sani says Governor Nasir El-Rufai is a man of principle
- Sani says the right principles on which El-Rufai operates has earned him many admirers and enemies alike
- He says Atiku Abubakar is at variance with El-Rufai, because the governor will not stand for corruption
Malam Uba Sani has revealed what stirred a great rift between his former boss, ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Malam Nasir el-Rufai, under whom he now serves as political Adviser.
The Kaduna state governor's aide, in his chat with journalists in Abuja, that El-Rufai is incorruptible and that has won him many admirers, as well as enemies.
Sani noted that in recent times, "it seems that attempting to pull down el Rufai at all costs has become the favorite sport of Atiku. But of course, as intelligent people, we can guess why he targets the governor regularly.
I have carefully read through Alhaji Atiku’s interview published in the Zero Tolerance magazine, which of course has been widely reproduced on several social media platforms. I shudder at the very poor attempt by him to re-write history."
According to Sani, "Mallam el Rufai’s records in all the public offices he has held are well known and properly documented. In virtually all instances, his rugged anti-corruption deportments have always placed him at harm’s way.
The el Rufai we all know will not even bend the rules for himself. Be it at the Bureau of Public Enterprise, where he served as the Director-General for four years; or at the Federal Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory, where he presided as the minister for another four years; and even now in Kaduna State, where he currently serves as the popularly elected governor, el Rufai’s war against corruption is legendary.
Sani argues that in the interview, "Atiku was curiously quoted as alleging that el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during his time as vice president, offered him shares and he declined.
He said he wrote them officially to say it was unethical of him to have accepted the offer. Atiku’s intention here is unmistakable: to tar the highly respected el Rufai with the corruption brush. Records of the incorporation of Transcorp are at the Corporate Affairs Commission and other relevant agencies of government for any interested person to peruse."
The governors aide argued that Mallam el Rufai was never a member of the incorporating or founding team of Transcorp.
"He has never owned any share in Transcorp. Can someone offer what he does not have or own? El Rufai could not have offered Atiku shares in Transcorp because he never had any to offer.
The former vice president is well aware of the facts but it is very convenient for him to manipulate the public given our penchant to be gullible sometimes.
"He has obviously kicked off his 2019 presidential campaign and Atiku regards el Rufai as a rival of sorts. This is, however, disheartening given that the former vice president ought to know that power comes from Almighty Allah and Allah gives power to whomever He wills. Equally important is the fact that el Rufai’s support and loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari is unalloyed and unwavering.
"Atiku also claimed that el Rufai and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the Executive Chairman of EFCC at the time, were used by former President Obasanjo to orchestrate unfounded corruption charges against him in order to prevent him from succeeding Obasanjo as president. Is that true?
Nothing can be farther from the truth. I am very familiar with the circumstances that led to the indictment of the former vice president for corruption."
Sani further revealed that Former President Obasanjo, whose reputation as an anti-corruption crusader remains unassailable, ordered the inquisition that led to the indictment of his deputy after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had discovered illegal movements of cash into Atiku’s US account and of course his dealings with certain business men and interests in the US.
He said: "President Obasanjo, who single-handedly nominated Atiku as his running mate in 1999, did not originate the probe of his deputy in the US and Obasanjo, given his status as a highly respected international statesman and anti-corruption crusader of note, certainly could not have ignored the request of the US authorities to assist in the probe of what they discovered to be a huge international financial crime cabal.
"In 2006 the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the US Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) commenced investigations into possible violations of federal laws of the US, including offences involving bribery of public officials, wire fraud, bribery of a foreign public official and conspiracy."
According to Sani, The US Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice via a letter dated June 22, 2006 requested for certain investigations to be carried out by Nigeria’s EFCC with regards to a business venture involving iGATE, an American company, and NDTV, a Nigerian company. The letter from America contained a long list of Nigerians that the US authorities wanted the EFCC to interrogate and investigate. Atiku’s name was on the list.
"Once EFCC under Ribadu commenced investigations into the matter, shocking discoveries were made. Investigations by the EFCC were long-drawn and very thorough and the commission’s report on this crucial matter is very bulky. In a nutshell the EFCC discovered that the funds approved for the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) operations across the country were diverted to some banks for various placements at different interest rates over a period of time," Sani buttressed.
"These placements were said to have been made pursuant to an approval sought by the PTDF Executive Secretary at the time, Y. H. Abubakar, whose office was under the Vice President (Atiku Abubakar) Office.
The investigation, according to the EFCC, further revealed that these placements were made in the banks for purposes not unconnected with promoting some personal businesses, which coincided with the placements.
In the report, the EFCC queried among other things, what informed the vice president’s approval for the placement of $125m PTDF approved funds into these two banks as well as the unilateral approval of additional $20m by the vice president to PTDF and its subsequent placements in one of the banks, thereby negating the purpose for which the funds were applied for.
Concluding his speech, Sani told newsmen that a the former vice president was indicted by the EFCC and the findings of the anti-corruption agency was corroborated by the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Government.
He said Tthe immunity clause in the constitution prevented him from being prosecuted at the time. It is, however, true that the courts eventually ruled that the indictment by the Administrative Panel was not enough to prevent him from vying for the office of the President in the 2007 election but the courts did not vitiate the findings of the EFCC.