As the Senate remains divided over its summoning of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, over allegations that he diverted funds and loots recovered by the agency to the tune of N1 trillion, the Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has denied sponsoring the petitioner.
Saraki had been accused, in many quarters, of plotting a smear campaign against Lamorde for investigating him and his wife, Toyin, who was recently grilled by the anti-graft body.
The allegations by one Mr. George Uboh against Lamorde further included that, apart from diverting multi-billion naira funds, including the loot recovered from a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; and former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, Lamorde’s EFCC operates accounts in banks to warehouse recovered funds, which do not reflect in EFCC’s audited accounts, he also stated that the EFCC doctors and manipulates bank accounts to conceal diversion of funds.
Saraki however described claims that he had sponsored the petition as mere fabrication.
Read his statement below:
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 urgur well for our development and democratic process.