Sagay reacts to EFCC vs Saraki face-off

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The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, has cleared the air on the reason behind the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s decision to seal off some properties belonging to Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The legal luminary said that contrary to popular belief that Saraki was being investigated by the EFCC for false assets declaration for which he had already being cleared by a court, the former Kwara Governor was being investigated for fraudulent acquisition of assets.

Recall that the commission had sealed off some properties belonging to Saraki in Ikoyi, Lagos, while investigating the governor’s two terms as governor of Kwara between 2003 and 2011.

Reacting, Saraki accused the anti-graft agency of politically-motivated witch hunt, saying it had investigated the said properties in the past.

But Sagay, who spoke with Independent, said that the investigation was ongoing.

He said, “The investigation is not over. The earlier one was the issue of false declaration of assets. What they are doing now is acquiring properties by fraudulent means and siphoning money from the state.

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“So, it is a totally different charge. Although, he was cleared up to the Supreme Court on the issue of declaration of false assets, this one is different.

“That the court declared that a case is not proved does not mean that there is no guilt. So, this is a second approach, which permits the agency to actually have the property forfeited without proving guilt.

“All he has to do is to go through the first process of temporary forfeiture and then, the owner of the property (in this case, Saraki) will be invited by the court through an order to come and justify how he acquired the property, usually by affidavit.

“So, the two parties will come and if he cannot establish satisfactorily to the court that he earned the money by which he acquired the property, then he will lose it to the Federal Government.”

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