Published On: Mon, Sep 12th, 2011

I don’t have oil block with Andy Uba – el-Rufai

A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has described the allegations contained in the posting by the whistleblower, WikiLeaks, as “fairy tales and lies.”

Specifically, el-Rufai said he neither had a joint ownership of any oil block with Senator Andy Uba nor had seven upscale property in Abuja as alleged by WikiLeaks.

He also said contrary to insinuations, he had no interest in any oil block owned by Uba, a former aide to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

El-Rufai argued that he “had nothing in common” and was “barely on speaking terms” with Uba when they were both in government.

A statement by the Media Advisor to el-Rufai, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, challenged anybody in the American Embassy to prove that the former minister possessed seven upscale properties in Abuja, by showing their locations so that he could repossess them.

He said, “Those with oil blocks like General T.Y. Danjuma happily engage in philanthropy, and el-Rufai would wish to do the same with the ownership of oil blocks, but the fact is that el-Rufai has no oil well.

“Mallam el-Rufai refutes all the falsehood about his status prior to his entry into public service, and his record as BPE DG and FCT Minister. He acquired his first house in 1988, in Kaduna where he had been in professional practice as a quantity surveyor since 1982.

“He never had any contact with any US embassy official until he applied for an American visa in 1988. There is no official, named or un-named, in the US embassy who knew El-Rufai personally eight years prior to his appointment as minister in 2003.

“He has had no need to seek any loans or to consider importing a taxi ever from anywhere, let alone from the United Kingdom, which has a different driving system.

“On Chika, one of the 49 villages along the airport road that are meant to be relocated, the FCT authorities acted to remove illegal settlements after the unauthorised settlement refused enumeration for future relocation.”

The former FCT minister also denied claims that he influenced the award of the Ministry of Finance contracts worth $50m to the brother of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

According to Adekeye, el-Rufai was not in charge of that ministry, adding, however, that he was aware that the entire capital budget of the finance minister was not close to that amount.

As regards other reports that the said contract was for waste collection in the FCT administration, he said, “None of Okonjo-Iweala’s siblings or their company was amongst the dozen companies selected via advertised competitive bidding to handle waste collection in Abuja.”
-Punch

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