The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun the process to arraign Bukola Saraki, immediate past President of the Nigerian Senate for allegedly diverting money from the treasury of the Kwara State.
The EFCC is alleging that Saraki illegally withdrew the funds while he was the Governor of the state between 2003 and 2011.
According to the anti-graft agency, Saraki used the said fund to purchase houses and four flats in Lagos from the Presidential Implementation Committee for the Sale of Government Property through shell companies.
The EFCC said Mr. Saraki, through his companies, had taken loans worth N1.36 billion from the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank) between 2005 and 2006.
In a bid to offset the loan, the anti-graft agency said the ex-governor began to divert N100 million from the coffers of the state monthly. See Also ‘It’s Not Personal With Saraki, If You Are Not Corrupt You Won’t Be Investigated’ Says Magu.
The agency had in May sealed Saraki’s house located at 15a, 15b and 17 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The properties sealed are mostly houses declared by Saraki and he was subsequently placed under strict restriction by the anti-graft agency.
The agency in an affidavit deposed to by Ojilibo Stanley on behalf of the EFCC, the agency said it had established a case of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy against Saraki.
The EFCC had, while presenting evidence against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in 2016, alleged that he owned houses on MacDonald Road but there were discrepancies in the addresses.
The EFCC witness, Michael Wetkas, had said an investigation revealed that House No.15 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, and Block 15 Flat 1 to 4 on the same street belonged to Saraki.
According to him, “the Senate President bought the properties from the Presidential Committee on Sale of Federal Government Landed Properties in Lagos through his companies.”
The EFCC also said Saraki had through his companies between 2005 and 2006 taken loans worth N1.36bn from the Guaranty Trust Bank and Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank).
The affidavit sworn to by Stanley stated that on February 28, 2005, the Presidential Implementation Committee on the sale of Federal Government Landed Properties wrote a letter conveying to Saraki the approval of then-Minister of Lands and Housing for the sale of properties at 15 and 17 Macdonald Road, Ikoyi.
The EFCC said sequel to the letter Saraki wrote dated March 8, 2005, to Guaranty Trust Bank requesting N200 million loan to finance the acquisition of the properties on March 24, 2005, GTB approved the loan to partly finance the purchase of the properties.
The anti-graft agency said on October 11, 2006, another personal loan of N380m was granted to Saraki by GTB to partly finance the acquisition of properties located at 17 and 17A Macdonald Road, Ikoyi.
The commission further claimed that on January 30, 2007, a personal loan of N380m was again granted to the former governor to partly finance the same properties.
It said on April 28, 2009, another personal loan of N400m was obtained by Saraki to develop the same properties.
The affidavit said, “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.”
Saraki had stated in an affidavit he deposed to in support of the origination motion 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.”
He maintained that the allegations levelled against him were not new as he had been charged before the CCT and emerged victorious.
The case has been adjourned until July 2, 2019.
Police Service Commission Confirms Appointment Of Six DIGs, Promotes 14 Commissioners To AIG
The Nigeria Police Service Commission has confirmed the appointment and promotion of officers within the police force.
This is coming weeks after the row between the police force and police service commission.
The appointment and promotion was vetoed at the sixth Plenary Meeting held in Abuja.
The commission approved the appointment of six Deputy Inspectors General of Police, with two to proceed on pre-retirement leave.
The commission also approved the promotion of 230 Superintendents of Police to Chief Superintendents, 11 Deputy Superintendents of Police to Superintendents and 211 Assistant Superintendents to Deputy Superintendents.
Court Orders Temporary Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Properties To Nigerian Government
The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the temporary forfeiture of properties belonging to Bukola Saraki, former Senate President of Nigeria.
The two properties located at the Ikoyi area of the state were forfeited to the Nigerian Government following an ex-parte order by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa, had sought an order for the interim forfeiture of the properties located on 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos.
He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.
Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included: “An order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.”
Bandits Displace 2,000 Villagers In 17 Kaduna Villages
Bandits have displaced 17 villages in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The incident, which was said to have happened on Sunday, led to the displacement of about 2,000, persons, who have since taken refuge at LEA Birnin Yero Primary School.
One of the victims and village head of Unguwan Gibe, Jibrin Abdullahi, said, “Bandits came to our village to attack us at about 1:00pm on Sunday.
“The problem started when vigilante decided to help the community to deal with the bandits in their hideout.
“The bandits don’t allow us to go to farm, the vigilantes wanted to bring an end to this.
“But when they reached the bandits’ hideout, they were overpowered and the bandits said since the community had decided to attack them, we will not have peace.”
He identified the villages that were displaced to include Tura, Unguwan Gebi, Unguwan Dangauta, Unguwan Nayawu, Unguwan Makeri, Jagani and Sabon Gida.
Others are, Dallatu, Unguwan Alhaji Ahmadu, Sabon Gari, Kusau, Gidan Sarkin Noma, Unguwan Pati, Unguwan Tofa and Sauran Giwa.
Chief Imam of Izala Mosque, Ibrahim Usman, said the bandits had been terrorising the community even before Sunday’s attack and called on government to intervene to enable them return home.
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