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Robert Amsterdam to Represent Nigerian Politician Nasir El-Rufai

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Here is a link to the press release on Reuters announcing Nasir El-Rufai’s retention of Robert Amsterdam to defend against a raft of baseless, politically motivated charges by the Nigerian government.

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 integralmember of a team of bold and innovative reformers who brought realprogress, transparency and accountability to Nigeria. During his tenureas Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai’s administration was recognizedglobally as a model of transparency and efficiency, implementingpolicies and recruiting personnel that enhanced the viability of thefederal capital as part of a wider reform agenda.

“The accusations against El-Rufai are politically motivated andintended to destroy the reputation of a Nigerian reformer and aresults-oriented technocrat, and hence destroy the very notion ofreform,” said Amsterdam. “Nigerians deserve better than this.”

He continued, “These baseless accusations are of grave concern tothe international community, particularly those concerned with humanrights, democracy and good governance in Africa.”

The Bureau of Public Enterprises which El-Rufai headed between 1999and 2003 provided the then newly-created Economic and Financial CrimesCommission (EFCC) temporary offices, initial staff and other resourcesto begin its successful anti-corruption campaign in 2003. The tenacityand effectiveness of the EFCC has prompted political reprisals againstEl-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu, who were seen as the driving force behind theCommission’s successful prosecutions. Both El-Rufai and Ribadu are nowoutside 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 thiscase can be found at www.robertamsterdam.com.