Monday, May 13, 2019 9:44 pm
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) authorities say they are yet aware of alleged seal-off of houses believed to belong to President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.
Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that his office was unaware of the issue.
“I have not been briefed; so, I don’t have any information on it,” he said.
The alleged sealed property are multiple residential houses located in highbrow Ikoyi, Lagos.
Saraki had recently come under pressure from the anti-graft agency.
The EFCC had confirmed reports that it had opened a fresh investigation into Saraki’s stewardship as President of the Senate as well as a probe of his earnings as governor of Kwara from 2003 to 2011.
Orilade had in a statement said that EFCC was obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space and had 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.
“Indeed, all the instances in which the EFCC have had cause to sleuth into his financial activities either as a former governor or President of the Senate were driven by overarching public interest and due process of the law,’’ he said.
He added that with “indicting petitions and other evidence available to EFCC, even Saraki will agree with the Commission that putting him through a legitimate forensic inquiry is the legitimate route to establish his integrity as public servant’’.
In his reaction, Saraki insisted that the action of the EFCC was a witch-hunt.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the EFCC has marked certain property belonging to President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, obviously under the claim that they are subject of investigation.
“The action of the EFCC only reinforced our earlier stated position that their current investigation is mischievous, contrary to the tenets of the rule of law and only aimed at settling scores.
“This position is founded on the fact that these same buildings were the subject of earlier investigations by the EFCC as well as the case initiated by the Federal Government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Also, the case went all the way to the highest court in our country, the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“In that case, Saraki was discharged and acquitted because the courts believe the government has no case.”
“The EFCC’s move to investigate him is a mere witch-hunt exercise, aimed at settling scores, laced with malicious and partisan motives,” Saraki’s Media Adviser, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, said in a statement.