EFCC: Why Saraki May Lose IHRC Ambassadorial Appointment

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.

 Signs that tthe Kwara born politician  may have problem  when he eventually climbs down  next June  emerged  when Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and the APC  national leader mocked him for losing the  state Central Senatorial district to an unknown  APC Candidate in the state, Ibrahim  Oloriegbe of the Kwara  Central Senatorial  district .

 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

Bukola Saraki: Senate President Now Facing EFCC Probe

 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.

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