- For the record fifth time, Saraki has defeated the EFCC in court
- Reacting to his latest victory, the former Senate president alleged that cases against him were due to the non-confirmation of Magu by the Senate under him
- The former Kwara state governor said following the victory, he expected the anti-graft commission to now leave him alone to enjoy his fundamental human rights
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The 13th president of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to his latest victory against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Federal High Court, Lagos, had dismissed the EFCC's application for a forfeiture order on Saraki's home in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Contrary to the EFCC's claim, the court ruled that there was no evidence that the property was built with any illicit or stolen funds from the Kwara state government or any other institution.
In his official reaction, Saraki noted that the latest victory was the fifth he had recorded in cases in which the EFCC was either the main investigating agency or the plaintiff.
Saraki described the court cases as ill-motivated persecution, intimidation and harassment. He linked the prosecution to the non-confirmation of the suspended acting chair of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, by the 8th Senate.
He claimed that Magu took the issue of his non-confirmation by the 8th Senate personally.
His words: "It is obvious that the EFCC leadership under its erstwhile acting chair, Mr Ibrahim Mustapha Magu decided to take the issue of his non-confirmation by the 8th Senate which I led, personally.
"However, I know that the Senate under my leadership only followed the due and normal procedure during the confirmation process and we never executed any personal agenda against Magu.
"The records of the Senate during the period is there for the perusal of all Nigerians interested in the truth."
The former Senate president said he hoped the EFCC had learned with his victory that "a serious issue like the fight against corruption should not be reduced to a forum-shopping means to execute a personal vendetta or prosecute a parochial agenda."
"Fighting corruption and combating economic crime requires stakeholders to eschew coercion while employing upright diligence, due process, fairness, equity and broad mindedness in dealing with all cases and persons."
Saraki also said following the victory, he expected the anti-graft commission to now leave him alone to enjoy his "unfettered rights to freedom of thought, expression, association, occupation and dignity, as a private citizen and focus on serious issues of national development."
Meanwhile, the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has spoken after his release from detention.
According to an exclusive report by The Nation, Magu asked Nigerians not to give up on the fight against corruption. He said whether he is the chairman of EFCC or not, “Nigerians must own the war against corruption, which President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to eradicate.”
The embattled EFCC boss said what he went through was “one of those risks of the job", adding that all the allegations flying around were to tarnish his image and that of EFCC.
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