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N21bn Fraud: Bukola Saraki Begins Media War Against Police Special Fraud Unit

Source: huhuonline.com
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EN-US JA X-NONE
  Instead of addressing his involvement in the fraudulent N21 billion loan scam allegedly

granted to Joy petroleum through the now defunct intercontinental bank, former

governor of Kwara state and now senator Bukola Saraki has begun campaign of

calumny against the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police and its top boss,

Tunde Ogunsakin, a Police Commissioner.
 
Recall that the police fraud unit has been having a running battle with the senator over

his involvement in the loan fraud.
 
It is on record that Sen. Saraki refused to honour several invitations by the anti fraud

unit before finally surrendering himself at the unit's office in Abuja about three weeks

ago after   being declared wanted by the Police.
 
Senator Saraki before honouring the Police invitation, has through his media office

tried to misinform the public that an Abuja High Court has restrained the police from

inviting, questioning or detaining him.
 
The misleading press release issued by Saraki's media aide Akintoba Fatigun on

April 24, 2012 stated:
 
'To protect his dignity and prevent further harassment, Senator Bukola Saraki has

obtained an interim injunction restraining the Inspector General of Police, his officers

and agents from threatening to arrest him or infringe on his rights pending the

determination of the substantive suit on Thursday, 26th May 2012.

 
The restraining order which was purportedly issued by the Federal High Court 4,

Abuja, headed by Justice Gladys Olotu was consequently refuted by the court as the

SFU secured a court order for his arrest through a Lagos High Court and he was

declared wanted by the police.
 
Police believe the elusive senator illicitly obtained a N21 billion loan from

Intercontinental Bank Plc, now Access Bank through Joy Petroleum, a company said

to be owned by his former aide, Matthew Obahor.
 
As the beleaguered senator failed in his attempt to seek a restraining order aiming at

stopping the police from taking him into custody. There are unconfirmed reports that

he had reportedly gone into hiding following the court's decision to deny him this

sliver of protection.
 
After Saraki's chats with the Unit's investigators in Lagos and Abuja, he was said to

have sensed that the police unit will definitely charge him to court for the scam and

was said to have set in motion series of smear campaigns to discredit and rubbish

the image of the Anti -fraud unit and its commissioner, Ogunsakin who was

unceremoniously kicked out of the EFCC last year by the former chairman of the

commission, Farida Waziri.
 
He is said to be planning to weave his smear campaign around   the certificate saga

involving   the   SFU boss, whose tenacity has become a source of worry for the former

Governor   during his (Ogunsakin)   period as the Chief Investigator of the anti graft

commission.
 
According to reliable sources close to the serving senator, these anti-police and anti-

Ogunsakin efforts are to weaken the case against him and to win public sympathy in

his favour, if the case eventually goes to court.
 
He was said to have employed the services of political associates to put pressure to

bear on the SFU commissioner to soft pedal in his case. These include a former

governor of Ogunsakin's home state and that of a former Governor of Lagos State.

 
An insight into the activities of Saraki and his well oiled media was highlighted by a

piece written and published by a public affair analyst, Joseph Omololu, on May 14,

2012 in some online media, which dealt extensively with the activities of the media

team of Saraki.
 
The article which is fully reproduced here, reads:

 
'For the past weeks, Senator Bukola Saraki's well-oiled media lobby has tried a great

deal to explain the former governor's side to the N11b loan scam over which the

powerful politician is being investigated. They are doing so in manners that suggest

that the whole issue is one big conspiracy hatched by some powerful forces to hang

Saraki.
 
'An arm of the lobby tries to tie the police investigation to the motion the senator

sponsored last year calling for the probe of the alleged mismanagement of the fuel

subsidy, now followed by head-scratching revelations.

 
'The other arm attempts to link it to the politics of 2015 with some politicians,

allegedly aided by the Presidency, trying to checkmate Saraki. I concede that the

first lobby has done enough to justify whatever amount budgeted for the propaganda.

Up to 10 different well-written articles have appeared on this topic in various

newspapers and online portals.
 
'On the heels of those came an official press release from Saraki himself explaining

his 'side' of the story in the dailies of Friday May 11, 2012. Whilst keeping quiet on

the conspiracy theories above, Saraki again denied any link to the Joy Petroleum -

the company he believes is at the heart of the police investigation - and alleged

media prosecution of the case against him.
 
'But the irony of the whole propaganda is that the more Bukola Saraki and his media

lobby speak on this matter the more vivid his links (and perhaps culpability) in the

entire saga become in the eyes of all lovers of details and probity.

 
'Everything written by his media lobby and the contents of his press statement

deliberately ignored the facts of the case against him. They have failed to answer all

relevant questions even an inexperienced investigator will ask. Again, that is

expected. The whole agenda of the propaganda is to shift public attention from facts

to sentiments.
 
'Here are some of the questions from which Saraki and his media lobby are running: if

his (Saraki's) claim that Joy Petroleum Limited is owned by his late aide, how come

persons directly linked to Saraki, including one Abdul Adamu, were still making

transactions to and from the accounts belonging to the same company while the

fellow was bedridden and even after his death? Police have said that the names in the

documentations of the Bank included the wife of the former governor, Toyin Saraki,

and the former Commissioner of Finance and current Governor of Kwara State,

Abdufattah Ahmed.
 
'Police also said a loan obtained by Joy Petroleum ltd. was lumped together with

Dicetrade Nigeria Ltd and Likam Ltd. (both of which Saraki has admitted having

interest) by the Bank which were separately obtained by the companies. What is the

point lumping together a loan obtained by company A with company B if there are no

established relationships? Police also said the stock purchased by the Kwara State

Ministry of Finance was used as collateral for the loan approved to Joy Petroleum Ltd.

by the Bank. Neither Kwara State Government nor any other agency has denied this.

 
'They have also said that Joy Petroleum Ltd., Dicetrade Nigeria Ltd. and Likam Nig.

Ltd share one registered office address, No 10, Abebe Village, Iganmu, Lagos and

operate one office address, No 30 Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

(property of Saraki). It also happens that No 10 Abebe close is the office of TOYIN

Pinheiro SAN, Saraki's personal friend and lawyer.

 
'Police said Saraki had used his office as the Governor of Kwara State to influence

the purchase of the above named companies' stock by the Kwara State Ministry of

Finance and that the Plaintiff at material times (going by bank documents) was a

promoter of Joy Petroleum Ltd. and on several occasions used his personal

properties to guarantee loans taken by the companies including Joy Petroleum.

 
"These are weighty allegations against Saraki and interestingly all are related to the

said Joy Petroleum ltd. Just as Saraki has kept quiet on why payments and

withdrawals were made by individuals directly linked to him even after the supposed

owner of the company was long dead, his media lobby has also refused to address

other issues raised by the police.
 
' If Saraki has no interest in the company, how come properties of the government he

ran were used in the transactions involving the company? How come he is not

addressing the established link between the company and his wife and commissioner

for finance?
 
'He said the loans were not collaterised, what then do we make of the established

link (as bank documents show) between Saraki's properties and the loan? In fact, his

claim that the loan (about which he claims ignorance) was not collaterised raises

another question about his sincerity.
 
'As for whether the case against him is being prosecuted in the media, Saraki again

is the one guilty of such accusations. Police authorities last made a statement on the

matter the day he appeared in Abuja, rather than the Lagos office of the SFU to which

he was originally invited. And that statement was quite silent on the case against

him. It only stated that he appeared in Abuja and was expected to report again in

Lagos the next Thursday.
 
'That is probably because the matter is already before the court, where both parties

have filed affidavits and counter affidavits to state their respective case. Since then,

Bukola Saraki has granted at least two interviews online including the one granted

japh omojuwa.com touching this issue.
 
'The above suggests that Saraki is commissioning several write ups to deceive the

unwary public and whip up sentiments. It is on record that Saraki deliberately lied to

the world that he has obtained an injunction against the police whereas no such thing

exists. Rather than summon a moral conviction to apologise to the public for such

show of shame, Saraki has continued to spread falsehoods. But nothing exposes

Saraki as a lawless and indecorous fellow other than his continued public statements

over the veracity or otherwise of allegations already submitted to the court for

adjudication. What is more, this was the same person that took the matter to the

court in the first instance. Also, while Saraki is publicly asserting his innocence,

privately he is said to be going around lobbying everybody from the President to the

Sultan of Sokoto to the IG to have the investigation killed.

 
'Finally, Saraki is not the first public official to be questioned by the police. Even as

matters stand now, the police have not preferred any charges against him. Yet one

cannot recall there being this much sponsored write up about anybody in recent

times as has been in favour of Saraki'.
 
'Nigerians can well expect another round of salvo being prepared at the moment by

Saraki's team against SFU and Ogunsakin.'