BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Immediate past President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki has declared that the application to the Federal High Court, Lagosby the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for interim forfeiture order on his Ilorin home, is an abuse of Court process.
Saraki also said that the application is a clear violation of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
These were contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in which Saraki stressed that a Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted an order restraining the respondents (EFCC) by themselves, their subordinates, agents, servants, or privies howsoever, from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the Applicant’s (Saraki) right to own and peacefully enjoy any of his assets and properties.
Saraki further said; “The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is out rightly false.
“The fact is that the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 while Dr. Saraki personally funded the remaining cost of the building.
“There are existing letters from the Office of the Head of Service of Kwara State notifying the former Governor (Saraki) of the State Government’s compliance with the State Pension for Governor’s lodge and the one indicating his intention to bear the cost of the additional expenditure that will arise from building the property to his desired taste dated 25th January 2012 and 8th February 2012 respectively.”
The former Senate President also said that the construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of his tenure as Governor, stressing that the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques.
He further said; “Where cash was involved, this was mainly in 2012 and 2013, more than a year after I had left office as Governor. So, where is the claim that the money for the construction of the house was fraudulently obtained from Kwara State Government coming from?
“It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land.
“It is clear that the EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy,” Saraki declares.
Saraki noted that the EFCC’s penchant for abusing the nation’s judicial institution is the reason why it filed a suit in Lagos on a property that is situated in Ilorin.
He vowed to contest the matter in the court.