Saraki Explains Why He Didn’t Disclose His Wife’s ‘Hidden’ Properties In Assets Declaration Form

Bukola-Toyin Saraki

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday denied a fresh assets declaration allegation as exposed in a recent investigative report by an online medium.

Mr. Saraki is currently standing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on a 13-count charge bordering on false assets declaration while he was governor of Kwara State.

In the report titled “#PanamaPapers: Hidden family assets of Nigeria’s Senate President, Saraki, uncovered in tax havens”, it was alleged that four assets belonging to the wife of the embattled number 3 citizen were tucked away in secret offshore territories.

The report said a hidden London property in the name of Mrs. Toyin Saraki was left out among the assets declared by the Senate president in his assets declaration form.

The hidden property is located at #8 Whuttaker Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 8JQ and has title number NGL802235.

Apart from the undeclared London property, three additional overseas assets in the name of Mrs. Saraki were hidden from the authorities and are missing from the assets declaration form.

In his reaction, the Senate president said he had fully complied with the provisions of the law on declaration of assets by public officers.

In a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said he had in his different asset declarations included property owned individually by himself and his wife.

“The property in question forms part of Dr. Saraki’s wife’s family asset. It is public knowledge that Mrs. Saraki comes from a family of independent means and wealth with numerous and varied assets acquired over decades in family estates and investments.

“Furthermore, the law only requires a public officer to declare both his own assets and those held by his spouse and his children under 18 years of age. The law does not require a public officer to declare assets held by the spouse’s family.

“It is not expected by the law that a public officer should declare such assets held in the spouse’s family estate. Indeed, the Code of Conduct form does not make provision for declaration of spouse’s family assets”, he stated.