By Suleiman Umaru
Hopes of Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state and Senate president , who gave President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, ruling government tough time in the last four years going back to Kwara, his home state, a free man after his four -year tenure as Senate President looks slim. This is because the Presidency appears to have set traps for him ostensibly to cut his wings using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Tinubu may have spoken the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari and Adama Oshiomhole, the party National Chairman when he declared that by losing the election, he has also lost all the powers of holding the Buhari Administration to ransom in the passage of the country’s yearly budgets which remained a major problem between the Executive and the Legislature in the last four years.
Events moved fast as the APC government controlled security agencies , particular the EFFC, went back to the drawing board to dust the six -year old case files of the Senate president preparatory to resuming investigation on him that may land him in Jail after quitting office next June.
Many believe that the Commission operatives had acted fast to forestall the Kwara state born politician from taking up the Ambassadorial appointment of the International Human Rights Commission, HRC. Note that that Saraki, the Senate President had accepted his nomination to serve in the Commission as an Ambassador after stepping down from his current position as Nigeria Senate President on April 10, 2019.
Security sources told The Value News that since he made up his mind his mind his mind to take up the appointment the appointment, he has been under security watch to avoid slipping out of the country which might defeat the government intention of prosecuting him over alleged case of money laundering. The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, according to the source .are also working under instruction from the powers that be on the alert to ensure that he did not leave the country with the government approval.
It is therefore not surprising when the anti-graft agency said they have a case against him. Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman, of the Commission, who Saraki led Senate had made several attempts to truncate his appointment may want Nigerians to believe that the renewed investigation on him barely two weeks to leave office was not politically motivated but driven by ”overarching public interest and due process of the law”.
The Commission dismissed claims by Saraki loyalists that renewed investigation on him was ostensibly to frustrate him from taking the IHRC, Ambassadorial appointment. But the Commission insists that the current probe of the Senate president has nothing to do with the international appointment. In a Statement to support its claim, the anti-graft agency disclosed that the probe started while he was still holding office as the governor of Kwara state. The Commission’s letter to the state House of Assembly which sought to know the former state governor’s earnings between 2003 and 2011, speaks volume.
The agency had been on the trail of the Senate President over the alleged lodgment of cash and other monetary instruments totalling about N15 billion and $13million into his personal account by an unidentified aide as governor of Kwara state. The agency had said that the peak of the lodgments was on October 26, 2009, when 88 different aides allegedly lodged N80 million into the Senate President account. Saraki may have read the handwriting on the wall that it was a bobby trap by the Buhari Administration to force him to capitulation to be a stooge that one of his aides filed an Application in a lagos High Court to stop the Commission from arresting and prosecuting him over the alleged N 5 billion and $13 million money laundering racket.
Investigation by The Value News shows that that the Senate President case with the EFCC, had been in court in over the years but the Commission may not have made any headway in trapping him, over what critics described as lack of documentary evidence to do so. before the matter was brought up again to prove to him that he was not above the land
The Commission may have put its house in order to resume investigation on the Senate President. It was learnt that the Commission has succeeded in getting some damaging documents on the approval and movement of funds in then government of the Senate President while serving as governor of the state for between 2003 and 2011, from some aggrieved members of the whose identities remained shrouded in secrecy to avoid giving room to Saraki loyalists from attacking them.
Indeed, the Commission has confirmed that it has indicting petitions and other documentary evidence to show that putting the Senate president through this forensic inquiry was the only legitimate to re-establish the former Kwara governor integrity.
Appealing to an aggrieved Saraki that he has” no reason to worry if he has no skeleton in his cupboard ”, the agency vowed that it would go ahead with the investigation ”no matter whose ox is goored”. Recall tht Magu, the EFCC , boss had told those that care to listen that mandate of the Commission is to ”enthrone probity and accountability in governance space which it had pursued over the years without relenting.