Stop This Witch-Hunt, Saraki Tells EFCC

Saraki with Acting IGP, Muhammed Adamu when the police chief visited the Senate on a national security briefing, yesterday.

 

By Ayo Kehinde

 

Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has noted that moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), that it is conducting various investigations into his past, “is a mere witch-hunt exercise, aimed at settling scores, laced with malicious and partisan motives”.

He said that the Commission in acting in reaction to a news story published by a national newspaper, based on the letter written by the commission to the Kwara State Government in which it demanded for all details of salaries, allowances, estacode or any other entitlement enjoyed by Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate, during his tenure as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, is an attempt to dress a witchunt in the gab of investigation.

He said: “ While we have kept quiet over the series of letters sent to various institutions where Dr. Saraki had served or is serving in which the commission stated that it is conducting various investigations,  we are compelled to make our positions known on the less than noble and patriotic objectives behind these investigations because we believe it is a mere witch-hunt exercise, aimed at settling scores, laced with malicious and partisan motives.

He stated that the EFCC claimed that “the commission’s letter to the Kwara State Government House, which sought an inquest into Saraki’s earnings as the state Governor, from 2003 to 2011 was dated Friday, April 26, 2019, predating his announcement as IHRC ambassador at large which came on Sunday, April 28, 2019 with two clear days”.

In a statement by Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, Media Adviser, Saraki state that his tenure as Kwara State Governor has been investigated several times since his last months in Office in 2010 till date.

“In fact, at a point, as incumbent Governor, he voluntarily waived his immunity and submitted to investigation and yet nothing was found against him.

“Also, members of the public should be reminded that during the proceedings of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) between 2015 and 2018, it became clear that the evidence relied upon was from investigations conducted by the EFCC on his tenure as Governor and that is why the lead witness for the prosecution was an EFCC agent, Michael Wetkas. Yet, the CCT in its judgement dismissed the 16 charges filed against Dr. Saraki and that verdict was upheld by the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court.

“This new investigation into his activities as Governor of Kwara State is a repeat performance. The EFCC is fishing for evidence that they did not get in the past  investigations which has spanned almost nine years.

“ While we do not wish to obstruct the EFCC in the performance of its tasks, we reiterate our position that the Commission should be professional, ethical, transparent and consistent. It cannot be deemed professional when the agency is not consistent in the application of its rules and the laws to all cases and individuals. The recent onslaught against the Senate President by the anti-graft Agency is definitely a case of different laws for different folks. “