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