Saraki honours EFCC’s invitation

August 1, 2021
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Chuks Okocha and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday honoured an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was, however, allowed to go home at 9.15 p.m.

Spokesman of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the invitation extended to the former governor of Kwara State by the commission.

“He honoured an invitation by the commission”, he said.
A source told THISDAY that Saraki honoured the invitation shortly after attending a wedding ceremony of the daughter of former governor of Kwara State, Mohammed Lafiagi, at the Blue Velvet Marquee, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. Uwujaren did not state why he was invited.

However, Saraki’s Media Office also last night confirmed that the former Senate President, on his own volition visited the office of the EFCC to clarify any issue that the commission would raise with him.

In a statement issued by Mr. Yusuf Olaniyonu, the media office recalled that following the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the fundamental human rights case filed by Saraki during the period of the former chairman of the EFCC, which precluded the commission from investigating him until the matter is dispensed with, the commission at the last hearing on July 14, 2021, pleaded with the judge that the order was preventing them from doing their job.

“Following this complaint, Dr. Saraki, as a responsible citizen, on his own volition approached the commission that at the earliest convenient date, he was willing to visit the commission’s office and clarify all issues they might want to raise with him.

“He, therefore, visited the commission’s office this afternoon and answered some questions. He is back home. He was not arrested. Dr. Saraki also assured the commission that he has nothing to hide and will always make himself available to clear all issues that may require his attention,” the statement explained.

As Senate President between 2015 and 2019, Saraki spent a considerable time facing allegations of corruption.

He was acquitted by the Supreme Court in June 2018.
In his new case with the EFCC, however, Saraki is to answer questions over alleged theft and laundering of public funds using a network of cronies and proxy companies.

The suspected proxies, who executed purported contracts for Kwara State under Mr Saraki, allegedly made returns, for many years, to the former governor, forming an organised a network of dirty money flow.

The funds involved were huge, running into hundreds of millions in naira and hundreds of thousands in foreign currencies at various times, sources said.

Anti-graft investigators have obtained a list of the proxy companies involved and analysed a pattern of suspicious transactions between them and Saraki.

One of them has been reportedly responsible for funding Mr Saraki’s lifestyle, including paying over a hundred million to settle the bills for rent and renovation of Mr Saraki’s Maitama residence based on interviews with persons familiar with the property.

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