Reacting to the recent moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, has noted that the previous Supreme Court acquittal in his favour is not enough to stop the anti-graft from going after him for another offence.
Naija Buzz had few weeks ago reported how the EFCC sealed 2 houses (15, and 16 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos) belonging to Saraki and house number 17 suspected to be Saraki’s too.
The Supreme Court had in 2017 found him not guilty in a case against him involving same properties.
The AGF Office noted that despite the apex court acquittal in a case involving the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), other law enforcement agencies could also investigate him on other offences.
It further vehemently denied Saraki’s claim that he was being persecuted by the anti-graft on the instruction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The AGF Office noted that the EFCC moves against the senate president were not witch hunt against him.
Saraki was one of the founding members of the APC. He contributed largely to the emergence of the ruling party into power in 2015. Problem however began when he emerged Senate President against his party’s wish.
The APC had preferred Senator Ahmed Lawan (its current choice for the 9th Assembly Senate President). But Saraki however connived with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to emerge the President of the Senate in 2015.
He had since dumped the APC and joined the PDP. He however lost election to return back to the senate in February 23 polls.
The Senate President had filed a fundamental human rights suit against the anti-graft before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja over the seizure of his houses by the EFCC. The AGF Office, EFCC, Department of State Services (DSS), Inspector General of Police (IGP), CCB and other law enforcement agencies were respondents to the suit.
The AGF Office however in its affidavit opposed Saraki’s claim, saying that the; applicant is premised on non-declaration of assets and the trial was conducted in the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“That he knows as a fact by virtue of his training as a legal practitioner that a previous trial in the Code of Conduct Tribunal does not preclude further criminal trial in a competent court of law.”
Since the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had already retired, the response from the AGF Office was issued through the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata.
The AGF Office in its response on behalf of the other respondents noted that the EFCC, IGP, DSS, CBB, ICPC had the constitutional power to go against Saraki.
David Chima is the Group Head (Editors) at Naija Buzz News. He is a very experienced Journalist. He studied Mass Communication at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Zaria, Kaduna State, before proceeding for Advanced Studies in Mass Communication (Journalism) at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi State. He previously served as the Head Senior Reporters and Publishers at 1Push.Ng and eventually Naija Buzz News. Chima is a lover of football and a very strong supporter of Barcelona Football Club Spain.