Former Governor of Kwara State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been questioned again by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Yesterday’s interrogation of Saraki dwelt on his handling of Kwara State’s finances, especially the bond the state secured, while he was governor from 2003-2011.
The spokesperson of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Owujaren, who confirmed Saraki’s presence at the commission’s headquarters, said he arrived in the morning but left two hours later after writing a statement.
He further added that the former governor was expected to return to the commission today for a continuation of the investigation and interrogation.
The EFCC also dismissed Saraki’s claim that the anti-graft agency was paying undue attention on him because of his stance on the current crises within the ruling The commission also used the opportunity to deny claims by Saraki that his current travails stemmed from his association with the governors that staged a walkout during the special convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). PDP, an allegation the commission denied, saying its investigation of Saraki preceded any political differences he holds with anybody.
Yesterday’s appearance at EFCC’s head office was the third this year in the last six weeks for Saraki.
The commission has been looking into the complicity of the former governor in the collapse of the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), in which the Saraki family had substantial shares. Saraki was also once an executive director of the bank.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, has expressed fears that the current political disagreement in the country amongst politicians could create reasons for people to further accuse the commission of selective bias as it continued with its investigation of some suspected corrupt persons.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday, at a one-day workshop for journalists on ‘Economic Crimes Reporting,’ Lamorde said the media profiling of the commission as an agency that only investigates persons that have fallen out of favour with the powers that-be was wrong, stressing that the situation would even get worse as politicians continuously struggled among themselves for supremacy.
Partly attributing the rise in corruption to the poor reading culture in the country, the chairman explained that reading and being knowledgeable on the history, events and past antecedents of certain people in the country and even the friends they keep would determine their suitability in being appointed into public offices.
He added that some people, who were not fit to be appointed into public offices got appointed because Nigerians, especially the media did not bother reading and investigating deeply into their past.
While noting that the media have become a critical stakeholder in the anti-graft war, the chairman appealed to journalists to help sensitise the people on the ills of corruption and economic crimes rather than becoming pawns in the hands of corrupt Nigerians.
“The media’s potential to inform and educate the people is crucial for us. We believe that on our own we cannot win the war against corruption without a buy in by the people. This is where the support of the media comes. We need the media to help sensitise the people on the ills of the corruption and economic crimes.
“I expect the media to lend its investigative skills to help the EFCC fight corruption and not allow itself to be sucked in by the corrupt and become a pawn in their hands of corrupt persons, to undermine the commission,” he said.