Senate President Bukola Saraki has reacted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC’s) sealing off of multiple residential houses said to belong to him and located in highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos.
The EFCC had recently stated in a letter to Kwara State government that it was investigating Saraki for an alleged case of conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds, theft, and money laundering when he was the governor of the state from 2003 to 2011.
Consequently, the anti-graft agency was said to have sealed off the houses this weekend as part of its investigation of the outgoing Senate President.
But responding in a statement through his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki maintained that the action of the EFCC was a witch-hunt.
According to the Senate President, the properties in question have been investigated by the commission several times in the past.
His statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has marked certain property belonging to Senate President, 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 statement stated.
There are speculations that the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, may be using the investigation to get back to Saraki for presiding over the National Assembly that refused to approve his appointment as the chairman of the anti-graft agency.