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Alleged fraud: I’m innocent, not in media war with EFCC -Saraki

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Alleged fraud: I’m innocent, not in media war with EFCC -Saraki

Bukola Saraki

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that he was not in any media war with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, claiming that he’s innocent of the allegations of financial fraud against him.

Reacting to Sunday’s statement by the EFCC that no amount of media campaign against its chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu will stop his prosecution, said “we believe we should make some clarifications for members of the public to have a better understanding of the issues raised therein”.

EFCC in the statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade, said its action was sequel to an alleged false claim made by Saraki, who is to face investigation in Nigeria over the alleged crimes committed when he was the Kwara State governor from 2003 to 2011 and as the Senate President from 2015 to June 2019.

“We wish to state without any contradiction that the ongoing investigation against the former senate president and other Politically-exposed Persons (PeP) are on course, while Saraki and his co travellers will surely have their day in court shortly”, it stated.

The commission added that “Saraki deviously chose to divert attention from the weighty allegations of financial fraud trailing his eight years stewardship in Kwara and leadership of the senate”.

But Saraki, in a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he “has not engaged in any media war”, but “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.

“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.

“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 statement reads in part.

Saraki also stated that he was twice discharged and acquitted by the court on allegation that Kwara State funds were paid into accounts owned by him and companies.

He, however, believes that the current investigation constitutes an infringement on his fundamental human rights and reason he had filed a case seeking the court’s intervention for the protection and enforcement of the rights.

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