Showing posts with label Nasir El-Rufai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nasir El-Rufai. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2009

Robert Amsterdam: Nasir el-Rufai Has No More Questions To Answer!

An Interview with Robert Amsterdam on the International Defense Team of Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR), the former Minister of Abuja Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Nigeria resigned the appointment in June 2008.

Nasir el-Rufai

Q 1: Sir, on 30 April and 7 May 2008, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai appeared before the Nigerian's Senate Committee on Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FTC), to answer questions on his tenure as minister of the FTC, how have you found out that the allegations of bribery and corruption against your client Mallam Nasir Ahmad EL-Rufai are spurious?

I read his testimony before the senate, which totaled approximately 100 pages. Further, I must say that in my 30 years of practicing international law, rare is the situation when governments truly attack people who have committed real crimes with so much fanfare and publicity. In my experience dealing with these cases, I have found that the more politicians publicize alleged wrongdoing in attempts to slander and develop a particular narrative about individuals, the less substance there are to these types of allegations. I must confess to having had the privilege of knowing my client prior to being retained on this matter. These allegations ran so contrary to my experience with this individual that I performed my own independent investigation. That investigation revealed a continuous pattern of legislative harassment of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai that dated back to 2002. This history included his sworn testimony which he made publically and under oath concerning malfeasance within the body of the Senate itself. Am I surprised by the present goings on against my client? Absolutely not.

Q 2: Why has he disobeyed court orders as he bluntly stated that?
"Let it be clear that nobody will keep me out of Nigeria. I will return home at the completion of my course of study at Harvard. I have no desire to seek Asylum but would not be stampeded to abandoning my studies to make the government happy."

My understanding is just to the contrary. He has provided voluminous testimony and appointed individuals in his place to answer further questions. From reading various press conferences and threats that have been made, my impression quite frankly is that those individuals who cast aspersions on this man’s character fear his return and are doing everything possible to make that eventuality uncertain.

Q 3: Mrs. Farida Waziri., Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that her Commission has the right to extradite Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai. Is she right or wrong?

I would respectfully disagree. There are a tremendous number of allegations spoken at various press conferences that appear to have been dealt with in their entirety by the sworn testimony of my client.

Q 4: Why should Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai use his undergoing a course of study at Harvard University as an excuse to refuse a legal summons on the charges of abuse of office and corruption in Nigeria?

My client has answered fully all of these allegations time and time again. His course of study will be over and he will be able to dedicate even more time to re-answer these charges. The ongoing political attacks on my client and the obvious intent to cause him harm leads me to ask of your readers what the intent of this campaign against El-Rufai and other reformers such as Nuhu Ribadu, really is.

Q 5: The International Defense Team of Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has been making his case more controversial by calling it a political campaign against him. Why and how is it a political campaign when the EFCC is not prosecuting him as a politician, but as a former civil servant?

What makes this case political is the inherent bias and prejudgment that was reflected in the Senate’s and EFCC’s attitude toward El-Rufai. Bluntly, certain individuals have an improper purpose, clearly harboring a long-standing enmity toward my client. I confess that it appears that this enmity has stopped them from a detailed analysis of the fulsome response provided by El-Rufai. Simply because El-Rufai was a public servant does not deny him the right to equality before the law and equal protection by the law. He has no where waived these rights.

Q 6: If Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai was indeed an incorruptible public servant whilst in office, why is he afraid of returning to Nigeria to defend himself on the alleged misappropriation of about N32 billion from the sale of Federal Government Houses in Abuja?

My client has made it clear that when he left office, these monies were not missing. He has shown absolutely no fear by testifying before the Senate and fully answering all questions. As his lawyer I have tremendous concerns given the public statements made in Nigeria to date as to whether he could ever have a fair trial with respect to any allegation given the nature of the public attacks that have been made on his good name.

Q 7: The President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), is included in your International Defense Team and will defend Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on the eight-count charge against him by the EFCC, so don’t you think it would be inappropriate to go on with the uncivil public statements accusing the Nigerian government of political victimization?

The long series of personal attacks, prejudicial distortions of findings, and numerous press conferences necessitate a public response. Those who are intent upon destroying my client’s reputation have not waited for their day in court. Nor shall we.

Thank you for granting us this important interview.

About Robert R. Amsterdam

Robert R. Amsterdam

In his 25 years of practice, Robert R. Amsterdam has handled numerous international business disputes and in a variety of emerging markets. With an active trade and subsidy practice, Amsterdam has both defended and prosecuted cases for and against governments and corporations. Canadian Lawyer says of Amsterdam that he is "one of the few lawyers in the world [good at] taking on the state when the state starts acting like a criminal."

Amsterdam has worked in countries as diverse as Hungary, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Guatemala and is deeply experienced with politically sensitive cases. Highly regarded for his strategic innovation and international reach, Amsterdam was retained by the Russian corporation YUKOS-Group MENATEP in 2003 for the defence of former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky - one of the most high profile cases in modern Russian history.

He co-founded the Toronto-based law firm Amsterdam & Peroff with Dean A. Peroff in 1980 and has represented well-known global corporations including PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Four Seasons Hotel Group. Amsterdam has delivered speeches at organisations such as the Carnegie Endowment, the Fraser Institute and the International Commission of Jurists and has debriefed parliamentarians and NGO leaders on a variety of political, legal, and business issues. His expert legal commentary is frequently featured in the media, and he has appeared in the American press Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the UK press the Financial Times, Guardian, German press Die Press, Tagesspiegel, the French press Le Monde amongst others, and was prominently featured in a BBC documentary. Robert has also written many legal and scholarly articles including the recent article which he co-authored and was published in the Fordham Journal - "The duality of state co-operation within international and national criminal cases". Amsterdam also has a successful blog

London's The Lawyer magazine named Robert Amsterdam one of the Hot 100 Attorneys in the UK for 2005.

He is a member of the Canadian, New York and International Bar Associations. He earned his BA from Carleton University in Ottawa and studied law at Queens University in Ontario (LLB).

Conducted by Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Nigerians

Saturday, March 28, 2009

17:29 Nasir El-Rufai Fights Political Persecution in Nigeria

26 Mar 2009 17:29 Africa/Lagos

Nasir El-Rufai Fights Political Persecution in Nigeria

International legal expert Robert Amsterdam joins Nigerian defense team to challenge accusations against el-Rufai

LONDON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Nasir El-Rufai, a popular Nigerian reformer who has faced nearly two years of investigations from trumped-up, politically-motivated charges has announced the retention of the well-known international lawyer Robert Amsterdam, of Amsterdam & Peroff. Mr. Amsterdam has a broad mandate to mount a vigorous legal defense of El-Rufai's reputation, person and property both in Nigeria and abroad.

Mr. A. U. Mustapha, prominent Nigerian counsel for El-Rufai, stated that, "the increasingly libelous accusations against former Minister El-Rufai and the ferocity of the campaign against him which violate Nigeria's commitments under international law prompted us to look for jurisdictions outside of Nigeria for additional arena for redress."

While serving in government, El-Rufai was recognized as an integral member of a team of bold and innovative reformers who brought real progress, transparency and accountability to Nigeria. During his tenure as Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai's administration was recognized globally as a model of transparency and efficiency, implementing policies and recruiting personnel that enhanced the viability of the federal capital as part of a wider reform agenda.

"The accusations against El-Rufai are politically motivated and intended to destroy the reputation of a Nigerian reformer and a results-oriented technocrat, and hence destroy the very notion of reform," said Amsterdam. "Nigerians deserve better than this." He continued, "These baseless accusations are of grave concern to the international community, particularly those concerned with human rights, democracy and good governance in Africa."

The Bureau of Public Enterprises which El-Rufai headed between 1999 and 2003 provided the then newly-created Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) temporary offices, initial staff and other resources to begin its successful anti-corruption campaign in 2003. The tenacity and effectiveness of the EFCC has prompted political reprisals against El-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu, who were seen as the driving force behind the Commission's successful prosecutions. Both El-Rufai and Ribadu are now outside of Nigeria for their own safety.

Robert Amsterdam is the founding partner of the Toronto- and London, U.K.-based law firm Amsterdam & Peroff. More information on this case can be found at

Source: Amsterdam & Peroff

CONTACT: James Kimerm, +1-917-355-0717,

Web Site:

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