Thursday, 23 May 2013
Declared Wanted by Police, Senator Saraki Capitulates, Says He Will Appear Before Nigerian Special Fraud Police On Monday
Bukola Saraki, the former Nigerian governor and current senator accused of defrauding a defunct Nigerian bank of $133.5 million today said he will appear before the Police on Monday at 9:00 am. But the Police replied that he has already been declared wanted and cannot dictate when he will show up before them. They have therefore asked the public for information on his whereabouts to enable them arrest him.
Senator Bukola Saraki was declared wanted by the Special Fraud Unit of the force earlier in the day. In a press statement subsequently sent to Saharareporters, Mr. Saraki promised to appear before the unit to respond to the initial summons by the police. He had spurned previous invitations by the police by approaching a high court judge in Abuja, requesting an interim order of the court to prevent the police from arresting or interrogating him.
The judge did not grant the motion, instead he/she alerted the police. But Mr. Saraki claimed the judge had given a temporary order barring the police from arresting or interrogating him. Saharareporters’ investigations revealed that there was no such court order restraining the police.
Last Thursday the federal judge handling the case, Justice Gladys Olotu, cleared the way for Mr. Saraki’s arrest by clarifying that there was no order of the court in place restraining the Nigerian police from carrying out its statutory duties. As a last minute attempt to avoid arrest, Mr. Saraki's lawyers, led by Mr R.A Lawal Rabana, SAN, gave a press conference claiming that an ongoing court case was sufficient to deter the police from pursuing the senator case.
The police authorities responded today by issuing an arrest warrant and public notice declaring the Senator wanted.
Mr. Saraki's capitulation today is seen as the outcome of the tremendous pressure by the police to force him out of hiding.
Sources at the SFU told SaharaReporters that they want the public to notify the police of Mr. Saraki's whereabouts so that he can be promptly arrested. "He just can't dictate to the police when he hopes to be arrested when he is already declared wanted", an SFU source stated.
Below is the full text of Senator Saraki's press release:
Abuja Nigeria- Today Senator Saraki received the report that despite the court proceeding that was adjourned by Honorable Justice Gladys Olotu on Thursday 26th of April 2012 officers of Special Fraud Unit have declared him wanted.
Senator Saraki had earlier established dialogue with the SFU of the Nigeria Police Force in response to their request to assist them in their ongoing investigations into a transaction between Intercontinental Bank and a company, Joy Petroleum. While he has no connection with the aforementioned company, Senator Saraki has consistently assured of his willingness to avail the investigative agency of any information they feel will assist their task, provided the agency furnishes him with the basis on which they want to keep inviting him as he had already gone through these procedures on numerous occasions previously.
Senator Saraki will like to remind the public he has not done anything wrong and was only exercising his constitutional rights by asking the court to intervene in defining whether the force was following the regular police procedure in line with the manner with which they are handling the investigation.
Senator Saraki assures Nigerians that he maintains that he has not contravened the laws of Nigeria, and while awaiting the decision of the Abuja High Court on May 22nd 2012, he will nonetheless be making himself available to assist the SFU at the appropriate office 9am Monday morning on 30th April 2012.