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EFCC interrogates Saraki over alleged role in failed bank

By The Citizen
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday questioned the former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, over his alleged role in the collapse of the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria.

Saraki, a former executive director of the bank, reported on Monday to the Abuja office of the anti-graft agency.

It was gathered that the former governor was interrogated by detectives led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Magu, was still in the EFCC office.

The Senator, representing Kwara Central, was also said to have faced another panel of interrogators led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Yahaya Bello.

It was also gathered that the Bello-led team grilled the Senator over the control and management of state funds during his eight-year reign as a governor.

Bello is the second in command in charge of economic governance at the EFCC.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Saraki was with the commission but declined comments on the reasons for his visit.

He said, 'Yes, he is with us but I cannot say more than that.'

The Central Bank of Nigeria withdrew the SGBN operational licence in 2005 following its inability to increase its capital base to N25bn.

However, the bank got back its licence in 2010 following a court's judgment nullifying the action of the CBN.

Saraki on August 1, in a statement by his media aide, Bamikole Omisore, denied that the anti-graft agency invited him for interrogation.

The statement read, 'We will like to emphasise and categorically state that Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has not received any letter of invitation from the EFCC.

'For the avoidance of doubt, those, who have been a keen observer of this unfolding drama, will recall that the agency has conducted an investigation in 2010, 2011 and 2012 without finding the Senator wanting.

'These are not new issues and Senator Saraki has stated that if he receives an invitation from the agency to assist them in their findings, he will be more than happy to honour the invitation as he has nothing to hide, with regard to his tenure as a governor.'

The statement added, 'As regards the SGBN, again, this is not new as investigation on this was done over 10 years ago and during the investigations, Senator Saraki, as the governor of Kwara State, waived his immunity to answer questions by the EFCC officials in Lagos as regard his time at the bank.

'To set the record straight, there has been no invitation notice to the Senator prior to the newspaper publication even as of the time of preparing this press statement, there is still no invitation from the EFCC. These are facts that can be easily correlated.'