The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said former Senate President Bukola Saraki withdrew N12bn in cash from the treasury of the Kwara State Government during his tenure as the state governor.
Saraki, who ruled Kwara between 2003 and 2011 allegedly used part of the funds to offset a N1.36bn bank loan he used in purchasing homes located at 15, 15A, 17, 17A and four flats on Macdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which led to the seizure of the said properties by the EFCC.
Thus, the agency asked Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to vacate the ex parte order preventing the commission from investigating and prosecuting Saraki.
Speaking on behalf of the EFCC, Ojilibo Stanley argued that EFCC had established a case of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy by the immediate past Senate President.
His affidavit stated, “The personal loans used to acquire the properties were later liquidated with the proceeds of the applicant’s (Saraki’s) criminal breach of trust or misappropriation of funds of the Kwara State Government.
“The applicant (Saraki) procured one Abdul Adama who was his personal member of staff to receive cash from then-Controller of Finance and Account of Government House, Kwara State, Mr Isiaka Kareem, on a monthly basis, the sum of N100m.
“While the applicant was the governor of Kwara State, the total sum of N12bn was withdrawn in cash from the Kwara State Government House’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank.”
The EFCC denied being controlled by the All Progressives Congress, adding that the fresh investigation of Saraki was different from the ones related to the one conducted by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Saraki had earlier said that acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was on a revenge mission because of the role he (Saraki) played in blocking his confirmation as EFCC chairman.
He said, “Apart from the instigation by my political adversaries, my close contacts have confirmed to me that the 4th respondent (EFCC) renewed its harassment as a way of punishing me for the decision of the Senate not to clear acting chairman of the EFCC, Alhaji Ibrahim Magu, to be appointed as the substantive chairman of the commission.”
Saraki also cited the creation of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), his emergence as the President of the Senate against the wishes of certain elements in the APC in 2015, and political harassment as reasons for the EFCC’s prosecution.
The case has been adjourned till July 2, 2019.