The recent defection of the Senate President, Dr, Bukola Saraki and the former governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP may have landed them in trouble as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-opened money laundering cases against them.
The Commission said that the duo are being investigated over allegations of misappropriation, money laundering, contract inflation and embezzlement to the tune of N5.7 billion while in office as executive governor of Kwara state and Kano state respectively.
A highly placed source close to the Commission said that Saraki, his wife and Kwankwanso have been under investigation over the years and that the recent re-opening of their cases has nothing to do with their defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
According to the source, Saraki will soon be telling the operatives of the Commission how he allegedly laundered a whooping sum of N2.7billion while his Kano counterpart, Kwankwaso will be explaining to EFCC investigators how the sum of N3billion Kano state funds were withdrawn a week to the end of his tenure as the governor of the state.
The source further disclosed that operatives of the Commission are rounding up their investigations on the two Senators to enable it arraign them in court immediately after the annual vacation of judges.
He also disclosed that as soon as investigations are completed between now and September, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso will probably be arraigned in October before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
He said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been investigating the eight years reign of Saraki and his wife as well as Kwankwaso’s tenure in office as the executive governor of Kwara and Kano state respectively over allegations bordering on corruption, money laundering, contract inflation and embezzlement long before the current political situation.
It would be recalled that the Senate President, Saraki and Kwankwaso last week defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP citing polarization of the party as their reasons.
He said that Saraki might likely be charged alongside his wife Toyin Saraki from the preliminary investigations done so far by the operatives of the EFCC.
In a move indicative of the APC led administration’s determination to nail Saraki at all cost a Court in Abuja has ordered the service of summons on the Senate President, in relation to the ongoing investigation by the police into the April 5, 2018 bank robbery in Offa, Kwara State.
Justice Abdullahi Garuba Ogbede of the Grade 1 Area Court, ACO Estate, Lugbe, FCT, Abuja issued the criminal summons and ordered its service on Saraki following a criminal complaint made against the Senate President by an Abuja-based lawyer and rights activist, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, acting under Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
When the case was called on Friday, complainant’s lawyer, E. S. Marcus told the court that the defendant was absent in court despite efforts made by an official of the court to serve the defendant with summons issued on July 31 this year.
Following Marcus’ complaint, Justice Ogbede invited the court’s official, Abdullahi Umar Kutigi, who informed the court that he was prevented from serving the defendant by security personnel at the National Assembly when he visited the place.
The judge said since there was no evidence that proper service has been affected on the defendant, it was difficult for the court to take any further steps on the case.
“The process was not served on the defendant. So, it is ordered that a proper service shall be made on the defendant. This matter is adjourned till the 10th of September, 2018 for mention”, he said.
Ojaomo’s contention in the complaint marked: CR/196/2018, is to the effect that Saraki’s alleged refusal to honour an invitation purportedly sent to him by the police, in relation to the ongoing Offa robbery investigation amounted to the offences of “obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful responsibility.”
The criminal complaint read as follows: “Criminal complaint brought pursuant to Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015. Please, cause a summons for a direct criminal complaint on the defendant on the following terms:
“That you, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on or about the 24th day of July 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did refuse to honour the invitation of the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to report at the police headquarters in FCT, Abuja to answer to an allegation involving the investigation of some criminal suspects involved in a case which the Nigeria Police Force is currently investigating, thereby obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful responsibility.
“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 136 and 149 of the Penal Code Law, whereas, the complainant is praying the court to charge the defendant accordingly.