Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has denied asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stop investigating him. This statement is contained in a press release issued and signed by Senator’s Special Assistant on Media and Advocacy, Bamikole Omishore October 3, 2013.
“We would like to categorically put on record that this allegation is utterly false and at no time did Senator Saraki personally or through anyone else ask that the EFCC be influenced to stop any investigation into him,” the statement reads in part.
Omishore further assured that Senator Saraki is “a law-abiding citizen” who strongly believes in the rule of law and open democratic accountability. Omishore supports the argument, recalling that under Saraki’s governorship, that laster from 2003 to 2011, Kwara became the first state to make its accounts open to public.
Besides, the statement reminds of other achievements brought about during Saraki’s governorship, such as “boasting an international airport, international pilot school, extensive road networks, community health insurance, the innovative Shonga Farms, and a robust and growing economy”, as well the fact that 90 per cent of the state has access to electricity, while the national average in 30 per cent.
Special Assistant also stresses that there had been several investigations, in 2006, 2010 and 2011, into Senator Sraki during his time in office, and “After each investigation the Senator always receives a clean bill of health.”
“Notably, most of the investigations have taken place after Senator Saraki raised issues of public concern, such as the mismanagement of the fuel subsidy, or when he was pursuing his presidential ambition.”
“The current investigations, by EFCC, which are based on two issues, one is the issue of SGBN which occurred over 12 years ago and the other during his time as Governor which ended over 2 and half years ago, point to questionable motivations for the investigations. In 2003/4, whilst Governor, Senator Saraki gave up his immunity to answer questions on SGBN and till date he is one of only two governors in the history of Nigeria to ever give up immunity, which shows his sincerity and willingness to always uphold the rule of law,” says Omishore.
The statement stressed that Saraki is of the belief that politicians and government “should not pull the EFCC or other agencies into the political arena, where the perception of their work might become questionable.” Instead, according to the statement, EFCC should be able to do their jobs independently, without any interference.
Lastly, Omishore stated that Senator Saraki, and the new PDP,will “continue to fight within the PDP, within the Senate” for justice in Nigeria, as well as for its social and economic prosperity.