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Ilorin Property: I Built It With My Personal Fund – Saraki Tells EFCC

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Former senate president, Bukola Saraki, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of attempting to seize his house in Ilorin, capital of Kwara state.

In a statement Yusuph Olaniyonu, his spokesman, issued on his behalf, Saraki said the anti-graft agency filed a process at a federal high court in Lagos on Wednesday, seeking interim order of the court for the forfeiture of another of his property.

Last month, a federal high court in Lagos ordered an interim forfeiture of two houses of the ex-senate president in Ikoyi, Lagos.

In his statement, Saraki described the fresh action of the EFCC as an abuse of court process, explaining that a federal high court in Abuja had restrained the commission from seizing his properties.

Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara, is being investigated by the anti-graft agency, which alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara between 2003 and 2011, he withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

But in his statement, the former number three citizen said the house which the EFCC is currently targetting was built with his personal fund, after he left office as governor of Kwara.

“It has come to the attention of former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, that the  has again this afternoon filed yet another process in the Federal High Court, Lagos, in which it is seeking the interim order of the court for the forfeiture of his home in Ilorin,” the statement read.

“This move, just like the previous one the anti-graft agency made by filing for a similar in the same court on Saraki’s Ikoyi House, is a clear abuse of the court process, violation of an existing order of a court of similar jurisdiction, disrespect of the judicial institution and therefore, amounts to forum shopping which shows that the EFCC is only engaging in act of vendetta as opposed to fighting corruption.

“This action of the EFCC runs contrary to the statement of the nation’s highest ranking judicial officer, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed who stated that: ‘The rule of law must be observed in all our dealings and we must impress it on the governments at all levels to actively toe the path. The right of every citizen against any form of oppression and impunity must be jealously guarded and protected with the legal tools at our disposal. All binding court orders must be obeyed. Nobody, irrespective of his or her position, will be allowed to toy with court judgements. As we all know, flagrant disobedience of court orders is a direct invitation to anarchy in the country. Such acts are completely antithetical to rule of law in a democratic environment and will not be tolerated under my watch as Chief Justice or Nigeria’

“Dr. Saraki is equally surprised that EFCC which prides itself as an institution that is built on the rule of law has decided to ignore the existing order of the Federal High Court, Abuja “restraining the respondents (Commission) by themselves, their subordinates, agents, servants, or privies howsoever, from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the Applicant’s (Saraki) right town and peacefully enjoy any of his assets and properties.

“We will like to put it on record that the Ilorin home of Dr. Saraki was built after he left office as Governor and came about through his lawful pensions and personal fund.  The application for forfeiture of this property therefore amounts to witch-hunt, abuse of power and miscarriage of justice.”

Saraki said he is ready to meet the anti-graft agency in court, expressing belief in the “rule of law, the sanctity of the judiciary and ability of the nation’s courts to serve the cause of justice in all matters and to all persons”.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the EFCC, was not reachable on the phone when TheCable attempted to get the comment of the commission on the development.

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Despite AGF’s Directive, DSS Interrogated Sowore For 4 Hours – Falana Raises Alarm

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Legal luminary and lawyer to convener of RevolutionNow movement and publisher of Saharareporters, Femi Falana (SAN), has alleged that Department of State Services (DSS) is looking for evidence to ‘nail’ Sowore despite AGF’s directive.

DAMMYLINK recalls that Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami had in a letter sent to Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Service(DSS), directed the security agency to promptly forward the case file to his office.

Reacting to the directive, Falana said the development was not a take over because it was the AGF that initially filed a case against Sowore before it was transferred to Hassan Liman, the prosecuting counsel,

The human rights lawyer disclosed that the DSS was aware that it has no solid case against Sowore. Having been advised that Sowore cannot be convicted on the basis of the proof of evidence filed in court, the sss has refused to make the statements of the prosecution witnesess available to the defendants as ordered by the trial court.

“Hence, hearing in the case has been adjourned to February 20, 2020 at the instance of the Prosecution. “Convinced that the pending case would collapse like a pack of cards, the SSS (also called DSS) is currently fishing for evidence to nail Sowore.

In spite of the directive of the AGF to take over the case the SSS subjected Sowore to a 4-hour interrogation yesterday (12/12/19). “The entire interrogation pertained to Sowore’s alleged links with the proscribed Boko Haram sect, IPOB, and IMN which he vehemently denied.

At Sowore’s instance a member of the legal defence team, Abubakar Marshal witnessed the marathon interrogation. “In view of the foregoing we urge the AGF to file a nolle prosequi motion without any further delay to end the macabre dance which has exposed the country to avoidable embarrassment,” Falana said.

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APC Rally: Steer Clear Of Edo, Group Warns Oshiomhole

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Edo Youth Vanguard, An APC factional group, has warned the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to steer clear of Edo State on the illegally planned rally scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2019 in the state capital, Benin

It urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to order over his support for a rally that has the potential of creating crises and breaching the fragile peace in the state.

A faction of the party in the state which has the backing of Oshiomhole has fixed Friday for a rally to receive defectors into the party without the knowledge of the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the party’s state chairman, Mr Anselm Ojezua.

Governor Obaseki travelled on Tuesday with President Buhari to Egypt on national assignment and they are expected to return on today.

In a statement issued in Benin by its president, Nosakhare Oseghale and Secreatry General, Edward Ikhide, the EYV questioned the rationale behind the proposed rally, stating that the timing and approach are not only wide off the mark but has sinister motives of eventually fomenting trouble to create an impression of anarchy in the state.

According to Oseghale and Ikhide, issues of public safety are hanging in the balance if the purported rally is allowed to take place, adding that available security reports clearly give credence to the apprehension that the political rally has sinister motives.

He said: “We are amused that some politicians are planning an ill-conceived political rally for Friday and it’s being done without the knowledge of the state’s Chief Security Officer, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is on a national assignment with President Muhammadu Buhari.

“More curious in the ill-timed proposed rally was the complete and deliberate neglect of the party’s state executive led by its chairman, Mr Anslem Ojezua. So, the question begging for answer is who is the Abuja team organizing the rally for?

“This is the yuletide season and there are already movements within and outside the state, why the desperation to pull down the fragile peace in our state just to prove that a deteriorating influence is still potent?

“For all intents and purposes, this planned rally is provocative and highly susceptible to violence. How can you guarantee the safety of Edo people in a rally where neither the state governor, who is the leader of the APC in Edo State, nor other leaders of the party is aware of the purported declaration rally?”

He urged President Buhari to put a check on the activities of Comrade Oshiomhole, adding that, ‘Edo State is greater than any man or interest.

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N362m Trial: Court Jails 2 Men, Orders IGP To Produce Diezani Allison-Madueke

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A High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced two men to prison over N362m allegedly disbursed by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.  

Justice Nathan Musa of High Court 1 on Thursday, December 12th in Yola also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to produce the 3rd defendant, Allison-Madueke before his court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Ibrahim Mohammed Umar (1st defendant), Sahabo Iya Hamman (2nd defendant) and Allison-Madueke (3rd defendant) to court for allegedly laundering the said N362m.

He said, “The 3rd defendant in her desire to influence election in favour of then President, Goodluck Jonathan, authorised the release of N362m public money through Fidelity bank to the 1st and 2nd defendants to corrupt election officials.”

Considering the evidences as provided by both the prosecuting and defence counsels, Justice Nathan convicted Umar and Hamman on three-count charges. He therefore, sentenced them to seven years on each of the charges.

The judge however, considered a plea of allocotus from the defence counsel and ordered that the sentences will run concurrently

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