by Lekan Olanrewaju
Former Governor of Kwara State, and Senator representing Kwara Central, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Monday shunned an invitation by the Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Milverton, Ikoyi, for interrogations regarding an alleged N11 billion loan scam involving Kwara state and the now defunct Intercontinental Bank.
The governor had been invited last week by the agency and on Friday reportedly wrote a letter to the commissioner of police, promising to show up on Monday but eventually failed to appear.
He however obtained an injunction from a Federal High Court in Abuja, preventing the police from taking him into custody, pending the determination of the substantive suit on the 26th of May.
The motion was served and duly received by the Commissioner of Police, Legal on Tuesday.
Akintoba Fatigun, the senator’s media aide stated that there appeared to be “an orchestrated frenzy” to tarnish Saraki’s image, and that he was seeking legal support to stop it.
“As a law-abiding citizen, Senator Saraki has decided to seek legal redress to put a stop to what appears an orchestrated frenzy calculated at smearing his name,” he said “assaulting his dignity and intimidating his person through deliberately garbled accounts and serial leaks concerning loans granted to a company that he has no relationship with.”
Saraki also spoke using his twitter account saying:
“I have respect for rule of law and all its organs within our democratic setting. However we must decry use of same organs to oppress and malign our constitutional rights.”
The Police Special Fraud Unit had last week arrested former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Mr Mahmoud Alabi, for allegedly writing off a N9 billion loan and granting another N9 billion loan without a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to the unit’spokesperson, Mrs Ngozi Insitume, investigations revealed that “the companies that jointly incurred this indebtedness were Joy Petroleum Limited, Skyview Properties Ltd, Dicetrade, and Limkers Nigeria Ltd. The debts originated from several loans/facilities worth billions of Naira granted the companies, which were allegedly promoted by Senator Bukola Saraki between 2004 and 2009 when he was the Governor of Kwara State.”
“The billions of Naira loans/facilities were used to purchase shares of bluechip companies and choice landed property in Lagos and Abuja.” she continued. “Some of the landed property worth billions of naira used to secure the loans were curiously released after payment of only N2.3Billion out of the N11.97 jointly owed the bank by the companies.”