The Peoples Democratic Party has debunked claims that the ruling All
Progressives Congress and one of its national leaders, Bola Tinubu, were
behind the ongoing investigation of the wife of the President of the
Senate, Toyin Saraki, for corruption. PREMIUM TIMES had on Wednesday exclusively reported the invitation, by
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, of Mrs. Saraki, who was
the first lady of Kwara between 2003 and 2011, in relation to alleged
questionable inflow of funds into companies in which she has interest. But shortly after that news broke, a group of senators loyal to
Senate President Bukola Saraki, under the aegis of ‘Like Minds,’
questioned the investigation, expressing concerns that the probe might
be politically-motivated and suggesting that the leadership of the APC
might be hounding Mrs. Saraki as a way of getting at her husband.
Mr. Saraki has been locked in battle with the leadership of the
ruling party over his emergence as senate president on June 9 contrary
to the wishes of the party. Joseph Waku, a chieftain of the APC, had also on Saturday accused Mr.
Tinubu of masterminding a “baseless petition” that led to the
invitation of Mrs. Saraki by the EFCC, a charge the former Lagos
governor stoutly denied. But in a statement Sunday, the Kwara state chapter of the PDP said it
was a petition it (PDP) submitted to the EFCC that got Mrs. Saraki into
trouble. “It has become imperative to inform the members of the public that we
have every reasons to believe that a petition recently submitted to the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), Kwara state chapter is largely responsible for
the invitation and eventual criminal prosecution of the former Kwara
First Lady and wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki,” the
party said in a statement by its spokesperson, Rex Olawoye.
The PDP added, “It will be recalled that our party had sometime early
this year discreetly submitted a petition to the EFCC detailing how
certain individuals in high places under the past administration of Dr.
Bukola Saraki milked the state dry and left the people more impoverished
than they met them. “In the said petition, we carefully chronicled how state officials,
including former First Lady, Toyin Saraki, former Special Adviser to the
Governor on MDGs, Mr. Ope Saraki, Personal Assistant (PA) to
ex-Governor Bukola Saraki, one Mr. Abdul Adama from Kogi state, a former
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tunji Morounfoye, all working in a
ring, got enmeshed in a cesspool of corruption unprecedented in the
history of Kwara state or any other state of the federal for that
“Although, we believe that the arrest and prosecution of Mrs. Toyin
Saraki is long overdue, we nevertheless take solace under the fact that
the long arm of the law seems to have finally caught up with her and her
cronies. We are particularly delighted that our painstaking efforts at
chronicling the monumental heist that defined the eight years, almost
uneventful rule of former Governor Bukola Saraki in Kwara, has not gone
“We therefore commend the EFCC for its resourcefulness and
painstakingness. We pledge our cooperation with the EFCC and all other
relevant anti-graft agencies to ensure that all those who knowingly
looted our collective patrimony, but now walking the streets of Kwara
free with their ill-gotten wealth, do not go unpunished. “We urge the anti-graft agency not to buckle in to pressure or
blackmail that is already being mounted by political jobbers over Mrs.
Saraki’s invitation by the EFCC. Instead of sponsoring paid
activist-for-hire to stampede the EFCC out of the prosecution, one would
have thought that the most moral thing for Toyin Saraki and her
handlers to do now is to allow the law to take its cause. Since the duo
of Ope Saraki and Tunji Morounfoye are already standing trial for their
crimes, one would expect Mrs. Saraki too to seize the moment and clear
her name, instead of playing to the gallery.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate that the offences Mrs.
Saraki is being accused of are criminal in nature and such offenses are
not known to be statute-barred. Therefore, the fact that it took over
five years after Mrs. Saraki left office as Kwara First Lady before she
is eventually brought before the law does not matter.
“What matters is that justice is ultimately served, especially for
the sake of the hard-working Kwara civil servants, poor Kwara farmers
and the promising children of Kwara who were and are still being
subjected to all manners of deprivations as a result of the
rapaciousness of a privileged few who could not contain the temptations
to stare clear the cookie jar.