A coalition of groups, under the umbrella of Concerned Nigerians against Saraki (CNAS), has listed a number of reasons it is against the presidential bid of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
A few days ago, Saraki alluded to his decision to contest Nigeria’s presidential seat in the forthcoming elections, in an interview with Bloomberg, held at his Abuja residence.
When asked if he would contest, Saraki said: “I am consulting and actively considering it. I believe I can make the change.”
CNAS, in the statement, however, cited various reasons Saraki should not run for the office of the Presidency, making particular references to several corruption allegations levelled against him.
Citing his alleged link to the robbery in Offa, Kwara State; allegations of fraud during his time at the Société Générale Bank Nigeria Limited; issues relating to the Panama Papers investigation, among others, the group stated that the Senate President “cannot be trusted with the national treasury of the people’s mandate.”
Below is the full text the statement by Concerned Nigerians against Saraki (CNAS):
Société Générale Bank Nigeria Limited collapsed under the watch of Saraki and his family. Bukola Saraki was Director of the defunct bank between 2002 and 2003. Allegations of fraud still trail them till today, while the bank’s shareholders and customers suffered losses in millions. Over N1bn was alleged to have been looted from the SGB treasury. The EFCC charged Saraki to court for alleged fraud. Eight of the 30-count charge were directed at Saraki alone, and three solely for the defunct bank's MD.
There are claims that the Saraki family liquidated SGB to fund Bukola Saraki’s governorship campaign in Kwara State. The Senate President, Saraki, has been doing the same, dipping into the nation’s treasury and taxpayers’ funds through fraudulent juicy allocations to him and his cronies.
During his two-terms as governor between 2003 and 2011, Bukola Saraki converted by unscrupulous means Kwara State Government funds into his personal cash cow. He dipped his hand into the Kwara treasury at will and disregarded government due process, while he allegedly converted Kwara State government assets into his own or for his cronies.
Saraki cannot be trusted with the national treasury of the people’s mandate. He has a history of betrayals trailing him. He reportedly slapped a commissioner under his administration for being more loyal to Bukola Saraki’s own father than to him. Bukola Saraki betrayed his family – father (late Waziri of Ilorin, Dr. Olusola Saraki) and sister – because of his greed, arrogance and devilish thirst for power. He did the same when he defected from APC to PDP despite being elected as Senate President under the APC and does not obey the rule of law as he operates with impunity to those who go against his wishes. He will do the same if elected president, betray the Nigerian people.
In 2012, Saraki, was questioned by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police in Lagos, in relation to a N11 billion financial scandal at the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc. Inside sources said Saraki was able to get away with the scandal due to his connections in government then.
Saraki was linked to the ‘EFCC wanted Kennedy Izuagbe’, a former director of Societe Generale Bank Nigeria Plc. Societe Generale Bank is owned by Saraki’s late father, Olusola Saraki. Mr. Izuagbe, 45, was being investigated in a case of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N3.6 billion.
Bukola Saraki as Governor in Kwara State saw to the enactment of a fraudulent executive bill that allotted to himself huge sums and other privileges in form of pensions and salary as an ex-governor.
Saraki’s tenure as governor was described by some persons in the state as “self-serving, self-seeking and selfish.
Investigation uncovered Saraki’s hidden assets, including London property in the name of Toyin Saraki but which was left out among the assets declared by the Senate President. Some of them are as follows:
* The hidden property is located at #8 Whuttaker Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 8JQ. It has title number NGL802235. The first, Girol Properties Ltd, was registered on August 25, 2004, (a year after Mrs. Saraki’s husband became governor of Kwara State) in the British Virgin Island (BVI).
* Company documents show that Mrs. Saraki owns 25,000 numbers of shares.
* According to TI, Land Registry documents show that the houses at 7 and 8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London are owned by Landfield International Developments Limited and Renocon Property Development Limited. Based on current market estimates by Zoopla, the properties are worth a combined total of around £15 million.
* As part of the Panama Papers revelations, these companies were controlled by Toyin Saraki, the wife of the President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, as well as one of his personal aides. At the time of these revelations, none of the offshore holdings were reported in Mr. Saraki’s official asset declarations.
* In 2003, his asset declaration showed he had amassed tens of millions of pounds worth of assets during his time as Director of Société Générale Bank and Special Assistant to the President on Budget. The explanation he provided for these acquisitions was stated simply as “business”.
Saraki was again caught in the web of “falsification of Senate standing order’ with the Police investigating the matter and submitting its report to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
Saraki was accused of ‘falsification of asset declaration’ by the Code of Conduct Bureau. The CCB had levelled a 13-count corruption charge against the Senate President.
Saraki’s link to the N298m armoured Range Rover SUV seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Saraki is linked to $19.5b Paris Club Loan Refund scandal in which he was alleged to have received $2.5b from the amount embezzled.