EFCC’s fraud allegations are false, says Saraki
Former Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki said the allegations made against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that led to the interim forfeiture of his Ilorin home were false.
“The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is outrightly false,” Saraki’s spokesman Yusuph Olaniyonu said in a statement.
Saraki said the interim forfeiture is an abuse of the court process and a violation of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday ordered for interim forfeiture of Saraki’s Ilorin residence.
EFCC alleged that the property located at 1, Abdulkadir street, G.R.A, Ilorin, Kwara State was acquired through the proceeds of unlawful activity.
But Saraki said the Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo had given an order “restraining the respondents (EFCC) by themselves, their subordinates, agents, servants, or privies howsoever, from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the Applicant’s (Saraki) right to own and peacefully enjoy any of his assets and properties”.
Saraki explained that the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 which Saraki personally funded the remaining cost of the building.
He said there are existing letters from the Office of the Head of Service of Kwara State that notified him of the State Government’s compliance with the State Pension for Governor’s law and the one indicating his intention to bear the cost of the additional expenditure that will arise from building the property to his desired taste dated 25th January 2012 and 8th February 2012 respectively.
Saraki added that the construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of his tenure as Governor and the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques.
“So, where is the claim that the money for the construction of the house fraudulent obtained from Kwara State Government coming from? It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land.”
Saraki accused the EFCC of playing politics and aims to witch-hunt him.
The former Kwara State governor said he will challenge the matter in court.