Immediate past governor of Kwara State, North Central Nigeria, and now a serving Senator, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki was expected to report this morning at the Police Special Fraud Unit, Milverson Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in connection with an N11 billion loan scam.
It was learnt that Saraki was expected to report on Friday. But he sent a letter to the police requesting for time as he was expected to attend the burial of a close relation at the weekend.
As at press time today, he had still not arrived the SFU office, where detectives were waiting for him. Detectives want Saraki to explain how the N11 billion loan ended up in the account of his companies, including Joy Petroleum, which was owned by his aide, Matthew Obahor, now deceased.
The police will also want Saraki to answer a question on how choice properties in high brow areas of Lagos such as Ikoyi and Victoria Island were purchased with the contentious loan and they ended up as collateral for the same loan.
He will also need to explain how the loans were written off and the properties used as collateral were returned to him. Saraki’s successor, Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed may also be invited by the police to explain some money transfers which he supervised as Commissioner for Finance during Saraki’s administration.
It was learnt that a petition by brother to one of Saraki’s former aides to the police led to the resucitation of the allegation. The deceased former aide to the governor was allegedly killed by hired assassins on suspicion that he divulged a vital information about deals involving his former boss.
The deceased was said to be the owner of Joy Petroleum. But after his death, the loans were written off and the properties used as collateral were handed over to the senator.
It was widely believed that the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Mr. Mahmoud Lai Alabi was a former chairman of Tsonga Farms for which ex-governor Saraki recruited white farmers from Zimbabwe to work. As a former ally of the former Kwara State governor, Alabi was ‘planted’ in Intercontinental Bank after the apex bank had sacked its erstwhile Managing Director, Erastus Akingbola in 2008.
Alabi was earlier arrested, detained and interrogated by the SFU to explain his role in the N11 billion loan scam. However, a media aide to Saraki expressed surprise that the matter is being revisited again, saying that Saraki was earlier interrogated and his camp thought the matter had died a natural death. He believes the everything is geared towards assassinating his (Saraki’s) character.
Amos Fabiyi & Oluwole Adeboye (PMNews)
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