Following the verdict of an Ikoyi Federal High court ordering the forfeiture of properties belonging to Olubukola Saraki, the former Senate President has reacted by accusing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of playing politics.
The Herald earlier reported that a Federal High court has ordered the forfeiture of two mansions in Ilorin which belongs to Saraki based on allegations that they were built from proceeds of illegal funds. However, Yusuf Olaniyonu, special adviser to Saraki on media and publicity has debunked the allegation saying it is false. According to a report obtained by The Cable, Olaniyonu said; “EFCC ’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is outrightly 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,” the statement read. “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 law 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 construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of Dr. Saraki’s tenure as Governor and the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques. Where cash was involved, this was mainly in 2012 and 2013, more than a year after he had left office as Governor. “It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land. “One can only see that EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.” Olaniyonu was shocked the EFCC “could not even hide its penchant for abusing the nation’s judicial institution as it engaged in forum shopping when it filed a suit in Lagos on a property situated in Ilorin”. “We will like to restate our earlier position that Dr. Saraki will contest this matter in the court at least to further attest to his belief in the rule of law, the sanctity of the courts and their enduring readiness to do justice in all matters and to all persons,” Olaniyonu said.