EFCC: no going back on Saraki probe

May 9, 2019
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it will not go back on its current probe of the tenure of Senate President Bukola Saraki when he was governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.

The anti-graft agency said it has a sacred mandate to rid the country of corruption, no matter whose ox is gored.

It said Saraki has no need to fret as long as he has no skeletons in his cupboard.

The EFCC, which stated this in a statement in Abuja by its Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Tony Orilade, said it will conduct a legitimate forensic inquiry into Saraki’s tenure as a governor.

The anti-graft body, in a letter, dated April 26, wrote the Kwara State government about some information on Saraki’s earnings as the state governor.

But Saraki alleged that the EFCC’s inquest was a plot to intimidate and frame him up.

The anti-graft agency assured his that it is only investigating the Senate President in line with its mandate.

The statement said: “The EFCC has taken note of the reactions of Senate President Bukola Saraki to the commission’s inquiries regarding his earnings as Kwara State governor as well as on the quality of his financial stewardship in the Senate.

“While it is his prerogative to ventilate his views on the matter as he deems fit, the commission takes great exception at the desperate attempt to cast a slur on its investigative activities by portraying Saraki as a victim of persecution.

“Furthermore, the agency finds the attempt by the Senate President to tie our inquest to his International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) appointment and his approaching life out of power as misleading, knowing too well that the background to our current inquiries reaches several years back.

Read also: N20m fraud: Kwara perm sec, others to remain in EFCC custody

“For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC is obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space and has supremely pursued this duty without ill-will or malice against anyone.

“It is in the interest of the public, and for Saraki’s personal good, that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.”

The EFCC said its probe of Saraki was always guided by the overriding public interest.

The commission advised the Kwara State senator not to fret, if he has nothing to hide.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday raised concerns over the safety of Dr Saraki and other chieftains of the party.

A statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan alleged a renewed harassment of the main opposition chieftains by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government.

According to the PDP, the government has been using the EFCC to hound Saraki and others in what it called a clear case of political witch-hunt.

The statement added: “The Federal Government is hounding Senator Saraki, even after he has been prosecuted, discharged and acquitted by the Supreme Court, after the government failed to substantiate claims of false asset declaration against him…

“Moreover, our party already has information on how certain elements in the APC have plotted to cash in on the new siege to harm key leaders of our party, under certain guise.”

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