FORMER senate president Senator Bukola Saraki has boasted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is on a wild goose chase with its recent investigations into his tenure as Kwara State governor and head of the National Assembly.
Senator Saraki served as Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011 and as senate president between 2015 and 2019 but now that he is out of office, the EFCC is probing him. Out of favour with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) after he decamped last year and joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Saraki is a high profile target the anti-graft body is going after.
However, Senator Saraki said the EFCC cannot achieve any meaningful success with its current probe, adding that the agency had no strong case against him. His spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also denied that Senator Saraki was engaging in any form of media war with the EFCC.
Mr Olaniyonu said: “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 added that Senator Saraki has been on the receiving end of a media onslaught sponsored from the office of the EFCC. According to Mr Olaniyonu, various documents and court processes from the agency have been given to a particular newspaper for publication as part of a campaign to discredit Senator Saraki.
“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 Senator 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.
“Saraki believes he is on firm ground on the points of law and has nothing to be afraid of and he is innocent of the charges. On its persistent probe of the tenure of Dr Saraki as governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, we maintain that all the issues the EFCC are presently raising were the same issues that are 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.
“The CCT case went beyond the subject matter of asset declaration as they raised issues about the assets, how and when they were acquired, the sources of their funding and the banking transactions of Dr Saraki. Twice, the charges went before the highest court in the land and he was discharged and acquitted,” Mr Olaniyonu added.