Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wednesday cautioned the Senate President Bukola Saraki of casting a “slur” on its investigative duties.
“The Commission takes great exception at the desperate attempt to cast a slur on its investigative activities by portraying Saraki as a victim of persecution,” the anti-graft agency said.
EFCC Monday declared it will probe Saraki’s activities between 2003 to 2011 when he was the governor of Kwara State.
Saraki, however, in his reaction said the probe is a witch-hunt against his person.
Saraki’s media aide Yusuph Olaniyonu said in a statement on Tuesday that the investigations were “less than noble” and insisted that the government is deliberately witch-hunting his principal.
“While we have kept quiet over the series of letters sent to various institutions where Dr. Saraki had served or is serving in which the commission stated that it is conducting various investigations, we are compelled to make our positions known on the less than noble and patriotic objectives behind these investigations because we believe it is a mere witch-hunt exercise, aimed at settling scores, laced with malicious and partisan motives,” Olaniyonu said in statement.
“To single out one individual for persistent investigation can only be logically and plausibly interpreted to be a witch-hunt. This is definitely no fight against corruption. It is a battle waged against a ‘political enemy’. It is a ‘label to damage’ plot.”
Saraki said EFCC’s claim for the probe was false as his earnings as Kwara State governor had long been probed before his emergence as Nigeria’s Senate president in 2015.
He said the probe is to discredit him days after the announcement of his International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) appointment.
However, EFCC claimed that the probe was not in connection to his appointment as IHRC ambassador because the background of the inquiries is quite a long time ago.
“Against the background of the posse of indicting petitions and other evidence available to the EFCC, even Saraki will agree with the Commission that putting him through a legitimate forensic inquiry is the legitimate route to establish his integrity as a public servant,” EFCC added.