Nigeria’s former Senate President, Bukola Saraki says he is innocent and that he is not engaging in media war with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
A statement issued by Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu said the attention of the Media Office of Saraki, had been drawn to the claims contained in the Press Statement issued on Sunday by the EFCC and that Saraki had not engaged in any media war.
“Rather, Dr. Saraki has been the one at the receiving end of the media onslaught sponsored from the office of the EFCC. Various documents and court processes from the agency have been given to a particular newspaper for publication. In fact, while the EFCC distributed copies of its letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court immediately it was submitted, we are still surprised how Dr. Saraki’s response written early May found its way into a newspaper last Sunday.
“It should be known that if we were interested in leaking the letter, we would not wait for seven weeks to do that. Dr. Saraki believes he is on firm ground on the points of law and has nothing to be afraid of. He is innocent of the charges.
“We need to reiterate that Dr. Saraki is not interested in obstructing any investigation by the EFCC or any security agency. While the EFCC claims that it is investigating the Office of the Senate President between 2015 and 2019, we make bold to say that it is just on a wild goose chase. That Office has nothing to do with contract awards and handling of the finances of the National Assembly. These are functions of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly, otherwise known as the National Assembly Management,” he said.
On its persistent probe of the tenure of Saraki as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, Olaniyonu maintained that all the issues the EFCC were presently raising were the same issues that were contained in four of the charges filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and taken before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
He said the CCT case went beyond the subject matter of asset declaration and raised issues about the assets, how and when they were acquired, the sources of their funding and the banking transactions of Saraki.
“That is why we maintain that since the issues have been determined by the courts up to the Supreme Court, the EFCC is just on a persecution and smear campaigns with its current investigations. At the time the CCT charges were filed, it was generally believed some of the charges should not have been lumped up with the asset declaration issues.
“However, in their desperation to nail Dr. Saraki, some of the charges that contained insinuations that Kwara State funds were paid into accounts owned by him and companies in which he has interests were filed. And twice, the charges went before the highest court in the land and he was discharged and acquitted,” he added.
According to him, Saraki believed that the current investigation constituted an infringement on his fundamental human rights and that in the exercise of his belief in the judiciary, he filed a case seeking the court’s intervention for the protection and enforcement of the rights.
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