Former Kwara State governor and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has responded to a committee of the state government which indicted him and recommended his prosecution and that of other former government officials over the sale of public assets and huge debts incurred.
Saraki said he was not invited by the panel and he was ready to face the panel to defend his administration before the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-established panel.
The committee’s white paper had accused Saraki and ex-governor Abdualfatah Ahmed of economic sabotage against the state through sales of public assets to cronies at giveaway prices.
But Saraki in a statement signed by his Media Press Officer on Local Matters, Abdulqadir Abdulganiy said, “First, for the information of discerning members of the public, neither Dr Saraki who left the Office of Governor of Kwara State 10 years ago nor Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed, the immediate last Governor got an invite to appear before any investigative and fact-finding panel set up by the Abdulrazaq administration.
“Thus, it is clear that the so-called investigation being conducted is not about finding facts. Secondly, while reacting to the claims contained in the statement, it should be noted that both Dr. Saraki and Alhaji Ahmed will never be shy of giving account of how they managed the assets of Kwara State.
“We know that Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is always incensed about Saraki and will always seek to malign the person of the former President of the Nigerian Senate, however, we think it is in his interest to focus on how to deliver on his numerous promises to the people of Kwara State, after he has wasted two years chasing shadows.
”Abdulrahman should stop getting jittery about the name of Saraki. He should focus on working for the people of the state and executing projects, initiating programmes and policies that will benefit the people of the state.”
The Chairman of the White Paper Panel on the unlawful sales of government’s properties from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2019, Mr Hussein Buhari, had said during the submission of the report that findings in the report were mind boggling and that nothing short of diligent prosecution, possible jail terms and recovery of many of the properties can avenge the “official connivances” that led to the pilferage of the assets.
He said the former governors and many of their aides have questions to answer on how public properties and shares were sold under questionable circumstances, including on the eve of their departures from public offices.
Buhari said none of these officials honoured the invitations for them to clear the air on the deals, and said the administration should prosecute them as a matter of justice — a request the Governor said has been noted for action.