Friday, April 18, 2014

Police lock up journalists, deny them access to Saraki


A police officer at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Thursday, locked up journalists inside a one-room office denying them access to a departing Bukola Saraki, the former Kwara State governor, who had reported at the SFU to answer questions over an alleged N21bn loan scam.

Mr. Saraki, who spent about two hours at the office of Tunde Ogunsakin, the Commissioner of Police at SFU, received a ‘privileged’ treatment from the police after they opened the gates for him, allowed him to drive into the premises, park very close to the entrance of Mr. Ogunsakin’s office, from where he quickly disappeared into the building.

When it was time to leave, Mr. Saraki, a sitting senator, left the police premises as quietly and briskly as he arrived.

The police officer who locked up the journalists is also a Personal Assistant to Mr. Ogunsakin. He said “he did what he did to save his job”.

Oluwole Adeboye, one of the journalists, grappled at the door with the officer before he was shoved away and the door slammed shut, the key quickly turning in the lock; the journalists left with barely elbow room inside the office of the Police Public Relations Officer.

The door remained locked until Mr. Saraki was chauffeured away from the police premises.

“What the police officer did was very bad,” said a furious Mr. Adeboye, a reporter with The News/PM News.

Afterwards, Mr. Ogunsakin told the police officer to apologize to the journalists.

“We are still conducting our investigations and whenever we need him (Mr. Saraki), we’ll call him again,” Mr. Ogunsakin told journalists.

At exactly 11:00a.m, Mr. Saraki, quietly drove into the Sunday Adewusi House of the SFU.

Dressed in a striped Agbada native attire, with a cap to match, and a pair of leather sandals; Mr. Saraki waited inside a black Mercedes Benz SUV with Abuja number CH 165 RBC.

After a few minutes, his aides gave him a ‘coast-is-clear’ signal before he alighted, and without uttering a word, hurriedly walked up the one storey building housing the SFU’s commissioner’s office.

Mr. Saraki, who was supposed to submit himself for questioning at the SFU office on Monday but chose to report at the Abuja office, is wanted by the police over an alleged N21bn loan scam involving a company, Joy Petroleum, and the defunct Intercontinental bank.

However, a police source said the “actual amount” is not N21bn, but N9.7bn

“Initially, it was about N11.2bn but N2bn was written off,” the police source said.

Unlike on Monday when a horde of his supporters purportedly arrived from Ilorin to show “solidarity”; only a few of his aides were present at the SFU office on Thursday.



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