A late night effort by the former governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, to elude police interrogation has failed.
Yesterday, the Senator tried to dupe a Federal High Court judge into granting a temporary court injunction against police investigators by filing an exparte motion to prevent the police from arresting him to respond to charges that he directly benefited from a N21 billion bank loan fraud but the judge declined to grant an order of restraint.
However, Senator Saraki issued a statement claiming that an temporary injunction had been granted preventing the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian police from arresting and interrogating him over the bank loan fraud involving some of his aides and companies.
Saraki’s lawyer, Mr. Lawal Rabana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja with an exparte motion application to obtain an interim injunction against the Nigerian police, the application sought to enforce the senator’s constitutional rights.
But the judge Justice Gladys Olotu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, refused to accept the ex-parte application and advised that the police be served with the motion on notice which was filed alongside the ex-parte application to enable the court hear both parties on the substantive motion slated for Thursday April 26th 2012.
A dubious press statement issued by Akin Fatogun, a media assistant to Mr. Saraki sought to mislead the public. The press statement read: “As a law-abiding citizen, Senator Saraki has decided to seek legal redress to put a end to what appears to be an orchestrated frenzy calculated at smearing his name, assaulting his dignity and intimidating his person through deliberately garbled accounts and serial leaks concerning loans granted to a company that he has no connection with.
“Senator Saraki is indeed in receipt of a letter from the Police Special Anti-Fraud Unit, Lagos, inviting him to assist its investigations of a case of conspiracy, forgery and stealing the sum of N21 billion belonging to Joy Petroleum Ltd.’
” Saraki has made it clear on many occasions that he has no relations with Joy Petroleum and wishes to so restate.
“While taking note of and displeased with the tendentious attempts to prosecute and persecute him on the pages of the media, Senator Saraki has asked the court to determine whether he could be invited by the police to assist in investigating a matter in which he is not linked and for which no specific allegation has been made against him.”
As soon as SaharaReporters received the press release we requested a scanned copy of court order but Mr. Saraki could not provide any.
Last night, Mr. Saraki reportedly met the Inspector General of Police, MD Abubakar at his Maitama residence to plead with the police chief to stop the charges but sources said the SFU might press ahead with the charges as it briefed fiery Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, to handle the case of prosecuting Saraki and deconstructing all the legal hurdles that may stand in the course of his prosecution.