Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Code of Conduct Bureau has said there is evidence that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while governor of Kwara State between 1999 and 2007, obtained huge bank loans and paid back the loans with funds belonging to the state.
The bureau alleged that Saraki used the bank loans running into billions of naira to acquire landed assets in Lagos, Abuja and London.
The Bureau said it gathered the information from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which conducted investigations into various petitions written against the Senate President between 2010 and 2012.
The CCB’s position is contained in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Peter Danladi, in opposition to a fresh motion filed by Saraki to challenge the validity of the 13 counts of false assets declaration instituted against him before the tribunal.
Danladi stated, “That I was informed by Mr. Yahaya Bello, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in our office on March 14, 2016 at about 11am and I verily believe him that:
“The EFCC received various petitions against the defendant/applicant between 2010 and 2012 alleging acts of corruption, theft, money laundering etc.
“The EFCC conducted its investigation of the various petitions and made findings which showed that the defendant/applicant abused his office while he was Governor of Kwara State and was involved in various acts of corruption as the governor of the state.
“The defendant/applicant borrowed huge sums of money running into billions from commercial banks, particularly Guarantee Trust Bank and used the proceeds of the loan to acquire several landed properties in Lagos, Abuja and London while he was Governor of Kwara State.
“As against the defendant using his own legitimate income to defray the loan, he took public funds running into billions from Kwara State Government and lodged same in several tranches and in cash into his GTB account in GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“The defendant/applicant’s account officer in GTB confirmed that the defendant/applicant gave him several cash in government house to lodge into the account and in some occasions, the defendant sent his aides from government house to give him the cash for lodgment into his account.
“When EFCC submitted its report to its legal department and the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Justice formed the opinion that the offences revealed from the investigation, particularly as they relate to the properties acquired by the defendant/applicant while he was Governor of Kwara State and various monies sent into his various accounts outside Nigeria can be better investigated and prosecuted through the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal.
“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation then sent the findings and the evidence gathered during investigation by the EFCC as a complaint to the Code of Conduct Bureau for investigation and that the operative of EFCC would collaborate with the officers of the bureau for effective investigations.”