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Ex-gov Turaki, accused of forgery - Burkina Faso disowns diplomatic passport

Posted by Taiwo Adisa, Abuja on 2007/08/23 | Views: 488 |

Ex-gov Turaki, accused of forgery - Burkina Faso disowns diplomatic passport


A new dimension has been added to the problems of the former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Saminu Turaki, as the government of Republic of Burkina Faso has accused him of forging a Burkinabe diplomatic passport with No. 01007812.

A new dimension has been added to the problems of the former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Saminu Turaki, as the government of Republic of Burkina Faso has accused him of forging a Burkinabe diplomatic passport with No. 01007812.

Turaki, a pro-third term campaigner for former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is currently being tried at a Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing over N33 billion belonging to Jigawa State.

The governor, while reacting to an allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he held dual citizenship, had claimed in an affidavit filed before the court that “The international passport No. 01007812 issued by the government of Burkina Faso is a diplomatic passport, which was issued to him as a gesture when escorting the president of the country on a presidential visit to another country.”

But when a news agency, Pointblanknews.com, contacted the Burkinabe government, an official in the office of President Blaise Campaore denied that the country issued any diplomatic passport to any Nigerian former governor.

The official at the Burkina Faso presidency who identified herself simply as Ms. Basole told Pointblanknews.com that as a policy, the country did not issue any of its passports to foreigners.

“We don’t issue diplomatic passports to non-citizen of Burkina Faso. Passports are for Burkina Faso citizens and diplomatic passports are for some government officials whose duties require one. We don’t know where he got it from.”

Asked whether the country’s president might have authorised the issuance of the passport, Ms. Bisole said, “Sir, before your second call, I had confirmed from our president and the immigration office and they did not issue any passport to such person in Nigeria. Maybe he got it from another source, but not here.”

The official also denied knowledge of Turaki travelling with President Campaore, saying, “I cannot remember such name travelling with our president. I have been in this office for many years and I travel with the president most times and I know those who had travelled with him. So I don’t think I have seen that name.”

The former governor had said that part of the N33 billion he was alleged to have misappropriated was used to finance the third term project.

He said in a statement to the EFCC that he gave the sum of N10.4 billion as one of his interventions in the third term plot.

Reacting to the allegation, Turaki, who declined comments, said that it was a court process, adding that the court should be approached on the matter.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.