EFCC to arraign Saraki after vacating restraining order

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission plans to arraign the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for alleged money laundering and looting of the Kwara State coffers during his administration of the state between 2003 and 2011.

BRANDINFO gathered on Sunday that the plan to earlier arraign Saraki was frustrated by the restraining order granted against the EFCC by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Saraki had filed a fundamental human rights suit before Justice Taiwo who granted an ex parte order restraining the commission and five other agencies of the Federal Government from continuing its investigations of corruption allegations against him.

But a senior EFCC operative confided in our correspondent in Abuja that “Saraki’s arraignment cannot be stopped by any court order,” noting that  the commission had strongly protested against the restraining order to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati.

The source said, “We have already protested against the restraining order to the Chief Judge. We will not waste time in arraigning the former senate president once the order granted by Justice Taiwo is vacated and the case is transferred to a different judge. Saraki will have his day in court soon; nothing can stop it.”

Meanwhile, the commission has said that the ongoing investigation against the ex-Senate President and other politically-exposed persons was on course.

The commission in a statement on Sunday by its acting spokesman, Tony Orilade, also said that investigation of Saraki’s stewardship as a former Senate President and former governor of Kwara State had nothing to do with the non-confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the EFCC.

The EFCC said this in reaction to a report stating that Magu sought Saraki’s assistance for his Senate confirmation in 2016.

The agency explained that the probe against Saraki had nothing to do with “the weighty allegations of financial fraud trailing his eight years stewardship in Kwara State and leadership of the Senate.”

The statement read, “We wish to state without any contradiction that Saraki and his co-travellers will surely have their day in court shortly.

“Let it be stated in unequivocal terms that the investigation of Saraki’s stewardship, whether as a former Senate President or as a former governor of Kwara State, has absolutely nothing to do with the non-confirmation of Magu as the substantive chairman of the EFCC.”
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