EFCC invites Saraki over allegation of theft, money laundering
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited the immediate past president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, over allegations of theft and money laundering.
The incident reportedly occurred, yesterday afternoon in Abuja, shortly after Saraki attended the wedding ceremony of daughter of one of his loyalists and Third Republic Kwara State governor, Senator Shaba Lafiagi.
According to reports, Saraki was arrested after being accused of using several proxy companies to launder money, when he was governor.
But denying the arrest, EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said contrary to reports, the former governor merely honoured the commission’s invitation.
“It is true he was invited and he responded, but there are no details at the moment,” he said.
It was reported that the suspected proxies, who executed some alleged contracts for Kwara State under Saraki, allegedly made returns to him for many years.
The funds involved were huge, running into hundreds of millions in naira and hundreds of thousands in foreign currencies at various times.
Anti-graft investigators had obtained a list of the proxy companies involved and analysed a pattern of suspicious transactions between them and Saraki,
Just two weeks ago, the agency told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that the former Senate President’s action had been hindering the agency from probing him.
The EFCC had, in 2019, said it would probe Saraki’s earnings between 2003 and 2011, when he was governor of Kwara. The commission was reported to have seized some of his houses in the Ikoyi area of Lagos then.
But Saraki, on May 10, 2019, filed two separate suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/507/19 and FHC/ABJ/CS/508/19 respectively before Justice Taiwo Taiwo to challenge EFCC’s action.
Justice Taiwo, who was the presiding judge, ruled on an ex parte application filed along with the substantive suits and ordered the anti-corruption agency and other five respondents to the suits to stay action on the probe pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicant.
The court had directed the parties to maintain the status quo by suspending the probe. But the EFCC later applied that the judge should recuse himself and the matter be transferred to another court.
Justice Taiwo sent back the case file to the chief judge and the matter was reassigned to Justice Anwuli Chikere for adjudication.
But when the mater came up on Wednesday July 14, 2021, the anti-graft agency told the court that the action of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had been hindering the agency from probing him.
The EFCC, which stated that Saraki continued to hinge on the court’s order whenever he is invited, urged the court to vacate the order.
Justice Chikere, noting that the court vacation was around the corner, adjourned the matter till Oct. 7 for hearing.
But the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the former Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, debunked the report. Olaniyonu, who spoke with The Guardian on phone, said: “There is no truth in it.
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