- Bukola Saraki, immediate past president of the Senate, denies embarking on a media war with Ibrahim Magu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
- Saraki says he is even the one battling with alleged sponsored release of documents to the media by the EFCC
- The former Senate president describes his investigation by the EFCC as a wild goose chase
The immediate past president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Monday, July 1, replied the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a probe instituted against him.
Saraki denied championing a negative campaign against Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the EFCC, as claimed in a statement by Tony Orilade, spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, on Sunday, July 30.
In a statement by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his media aide, Saraki claimed that he had been on the receiving end of media war allegedly sponsored by the EFCC adding that various documents have been given to a newspaper by the anti-corruption agency.
The former president of the Senate stressed that he is not interested in obstructing EFCC’s investigation of his activities as governor of Kwara and in the National Assembly.
He, however, said the EFCC was embarking on a wild goose chase with the investigation since the office of the Senate president has nothing to do with award of contracts or finances.
Read the full statement below:
1. The attention of the media office of Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been drawn to the claims contained in the press statement issued yesterday (June 30, 2019) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and we believe we should make some clarifications for members of the public to have a better understanding of the issues raised therein.
2. Dr Saraki has not engaged in any media war. Rather, Dr Saraki has been the one at the receiving end of the media onslaught sponsored from the office of the EFCC. Various documents and court processes from the agency have been given to a particular newspaper for publication. In fact, while the EFCC distributed copies of its letter to the chief judge of the Federal High Court immediately it was submitted, we are still surprised how Dr Saraki’s response written early May found its way into a newspaper last Sunday. It should be known that if we were interested in leaking the letter, we would not wait for seven weeks to do that. Dr Saraki believes he is on firm ground on the points of law and has nothing to be afraid of. He is innocent of the charges.
3. We need to reiterate that Dr Saraki is not interested in obstructing any investigation by the EFCC or any security agency. While the EFCC claims that it is investigating the office of the Senate president between 2015 and 2019, we make bold to say that it is just on a wild goose chase. That office has nothing to do with contract awards and handling of the finances of the National Assembly. These are functions of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly, otherwise known as the National Assembly management.
4. On its persistent probe of the tenure of Dr Saraki as governor of Kwara state between 2003 and 2011, we maintain that all the issues the EFCC are presently raising were the same issues that are contained in four of the charges filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and taken before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The CCT case went beyond the subject matter of asset declaration. They raised issues about the assets, how and when they were acquired, the sources of their funding and the banking transactions of Dr Saraki. That is why we maintain that since the issues have been determined by the courts up to the Supreme Court, the EFCC is just on a persecution and smear campaigns with its current investigations.
5. At the time the CCT charges were filed, it was generally believed some of the charges should not have been lumped up with the asset declaration issues. However, in their desperation to nail Dr Saraki, some of the charges that contained insinuations that Kwara state funds were paid into accounts owned by him and companies in which he has interests were filed. And twice, the charges went before the highest court in the land and he was discharged and acquitted.
6. It is also the reason that Dr Saraki believes that the current investigation constitutes an infringement on his fundamental human rights. And in the exercise of his belief in the judiciary, he filed a case seeking the court’s intervention for the protection and enforcement of the rights.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the EFCC recently called its third witness in the trial of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi facing money laundering charges.
Nwoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, is the senator representing Delta north in the National Assembly.
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