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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Senate President Bukola Saraki Denies Masterminding Probe of EFCC Chairman

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has denied being behind a plot to smear the image of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde who has been accused of diverting about 1 trillion naira of assets recovered from corrupt public officials.

Some of the allegations made by one George Uboh who is the Chief Executive Officer, Panic Alert Security Services in his petition to the ethics and privileges committee of the Senate includes that EFCC operates accounts in banks to warehouse recovered funds, which do not reflect in EFCC’s audited accounts;
EFCC doctors and manipulates bank accounts to conceal diversion of funds; EFCC releases recovered funds to unidentified persons and EFCC officials; EFCC moves funds from its recovery accounts to EFCC operations accounts from where it diverts same; Over 95% of EFCC’s recoveries in foreign currencies, other than those from multinational companies, have been diverted.
There has been reports that the Senate President is using the petitioner to blackmail the EFCC Chairman who in July this year invited the wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki for questioning on financial misappropriation during his time as governor of Kwara state.
However, a statement from the Special Assistant to the Senate President (Online Media) Bankole Omisore said there is no truth in the report.
The full statement reads thus...
The attention of the media office of the President of the Senate, Sen. Abubakar  Bukola Saraki has been drawn to a publication alleging that the Senate President hired one Uboh to smear the integrity of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.

It is pertinent and with all sense of responsibility and commitment to state unequivocally that the story is far from the truth. A fabricated story that can not sell to dent the image of Senator Saraki. 

The general public is fully aware that the said online platform which published the false story has been an agent of media attack on the person of the Senate President and that all  allegations made by the online platform against the have fallen flat on their face as bare lies, concocted with malicious intention.

To set the record straight, no body can rightfully claim that Senator Saraki engaged the services of the petitioner or any other person for that matter. There are about four different petitions from individuals, groups and corporate organisations written against the EFCC and submitted  to the Senate.

Most of these petitions are dated 27/07/2015 and 31/07/2015 while some bothers on issues between 2013, 2014 and 2015. There are petitions that are directly written and received by the Senate while in some, the petition was written to the President and the  Senate were copied.

Further to the above, EFCC is not the only government agency that has petition against it pending before the before the Senate. There are pending petitions against the CG Custom, FIRS and NPA, amongst others. Is it also Senator Saraki that hired or engaged people to do this? What evidence does  Sahara reporter have that  links Senator Saraki to all these petitions before the Senate ? 

The Senate President has no relationship whatsoever with Mr Uboh in any capacity or in the course of his emergence  as Senate President. If anybody has any proof of a relationship between Senator Saraki and the said Mr. Uboh, let him or her say it now. 

Our Investigation showed  that Uboh's petition has been in public domain since 2013 and that the details has been reported in national newspapers as well as cited in court proceedings. The Senate President could not have said to have hired any one to write a petition for him as he has no issue to sort out with any individual, group of people or an organisation.

Therefore, any insinuation that Senator Saraki is attempting  to prevent EFCC  from carrying out its constitutional responsibility is a hoax and an imagination of the writer. 

Let it be known that the idea of people using the media to intimidate or blackmail the Senate to prevent it  from performing its constitutional and legislative duties will be resisted and as such, meet  stiff opposition expressed through lawful means. Senator Saraki is not the same as the Senate or National Assembly as an institution. Imputing sentiment into the legitimate working of any government institution will not augur well for our development and democratic process.

   Bamikole Omisore
   Special Assistant to the Senate President (Online Media)

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