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Saraki must be prosecuted –EFCC says media campaign against Magu won’t save him

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says no amount of media campaign against its Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu will stop the prosecution of the former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Spokesman of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Orilade, the attention of the EFCC has been drawn to the false claim made by Saraki, who is to face investigation here in Nigeria.

“He seems to have chosen outside the shores of Nigeria as the launch pad of his campaign of calumny against the EFCC and its leadership.

“We wish to state without any contradiction that the ongoing investigation against the former Senate president and other Politically-exposed Persons (PeP) are on course, while Saraki and his co-travellers will surely have their day in court shortly.

“Particularly, of reference is the report published in the Punch Newspaper of Sunday, June 30, 2019, entitled, “Magu begged me to help his confirmation by the Senate, Saraki tells CJ Kafarati”.

“Saraki deviously chose to divert attention from the weighty allegations of financial fraud trailing his eight years stewardship in Kwara and leadership of the Senate.

“Instead, he is coming up with mendacious reasons on why the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court should ignore the request of the EFCC, seeking the transfer of its cases from Justice Taiwo Taiwo who curiously granted ex-parte order to restrain the commission from performing its statutory duties.”  he said.

Orilade further said that incidentally, the EFCC had filed a detailed response against the judge’s restraining order and took up issues over the controversial interim order.

“While waiting for the careful response of the CJ over the commission’s request, we wish to advise ex-president of the Senate to carry his cross and allow the judiciary to perform its constitutional role,” he added.

The spokesman said it was absurd for Saraki to be raising issues on what transpired during the confirmation of EFCC boss in 2016 when he was no longer in charge of the senate in 2019.

“It is too late for him in the day, to be claiming innocence over the confirmation saga when every Nigerian knew what transpired under his watch.

“The Commission under Magu, has moved on and will not be distracted over mundane issues.

“Let it be stated in unequivocal terms that the investigation of Saraki’s stewardship, whether as a former president of the senate or as a former governor of Kwara, has absolutely nothing to do with the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC.

“While the EFCC will not allow itself to be drawn by Saraki to take up issues with him on the pages of newspapers, it is pertinent to once again state in clear terms that the probes being carried out by the EFCC are nothing personal.

“They are all about enthroning probity in governance, and letting leaders know that even out of office, they will be held accountable for their stewardship.

“Again, it is worth reminding Saraki that he has no need to be scared of the EFCC and its leadership as long as he believes he has a clear conscience,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had deferred hearing on fundamental right enforcement suits filed by  Saraki.

Saraki had filed the suits to stop the EFCC from re-opening investigation against him.

The suits were originally scheduled for hearing on Monday, June 24 but were, however, adjourned till July 2 to await the outcome of a petition the EFCC lodged against Justice Taiwo Taiwo who is presiding over the matter.


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