Saraki denies N60bn arms deal fraud, but SaharaReporters insists he took bribe

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has denied being involved in the N60bn arms deal involving the immediate past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Saraki, in a statement by his special adviser (media and publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that contrary to a report published by news website, SaharaReporters, he never had anything to do with purchase of security equipment because in his entire political career he never served in any committee or body which has any link with defence or national security.

“As a member of the Seventh Senate, Dr. Saraki was not a member of any of the committees which have oversight function on the Ministry of Defence or the intelligence and national security apparatus. If he was tagged the leader of the opposition to the Jonathan administration, how then will he be privy to arms purchases and have the influence to blackmail any government agency or institution over the release of funds,” the statement said.

Mr. Saraki said the report was a plot by SaharaReporters to tarnish his reputation, as the medium was pursuing “the singular objective of removing him from the office of the Senate President”.

The Saharareporters’ report accused Mr. Saraki of blackmailing the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay him and other senators N250 million as a way of covering up the arbitrary withdrawal by the NSA from the security fund approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“First, there is no logic in SaharaReporters’ claim as Dr. Saraki who was persecuted by the last administration could not have had the influence and good standing to walk up to the Central Bank to demand for any money having exposed many atrocities of the past administration. Again, on what ground would the Senate President blackmail anyone for 250 Million naira? It must be emphasized here that Dr. Saraki will never engage in any sharp practice or issue which will warrant him to blackmail any individual or government institution.

“Therefore for record purposes, Dr. Saraki did not collect any money from any official of the CBN in respect of any arms deal. The Senate President also challenge SaharaReporters or any official of the apex bank, Senator, serving or past, who witnessed or participated in any sharing of the alleged money purported to have been received by him, to come out with evidence.

“It should be recalled that SaharaReporters believe it can continue to disparage and defame people claiming that it is operating outside the country. The medium cannot operate above the law.

“The game being played by SaharaReporters and its sponsors is clear. As they have done in previous cases involving the on-going trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, they are targeting the Appeal at the Supreme Court coming up on Thursday, December 3rd 2015. They want to prejudice the Supreme Court as they have done when they blackmailed a judge of the Federal High Court to withdraw from the case and also published false reports, which compelled the Court of Appeal to postpone its judgment at the last minute.

“Whatever the motive of SaharaReporters, it is high time we employed the instrument of the law to stop this act of impunity aimed at publishing false reports believing the victims will not go to court or be frustrated by its dubious claims that they are domiciled outside Nigeria.

“We urge all Nigerians and other well-meaning individuals across the globe to ignore this absolutely false claim by SaharaReporters. Like we earlier stated, this false claim shall not go unchallenged. We shall meet in court.

“We have allowed SaharaReporters enough latitude to indulge in their unscrupulous and mischievous method of journalism. However, enough is enough. We have no option than to commence legal action against Sahara Reporters in all relevant jurisdictions, particularly on the issue of fake passport, false claim of bribery and the recent one on blackmail, all aimed at tarnishing the image of the Senate President,” the statement said.

But SaharaReporters said Tuesday it stood by its report and assured Mr. Saraki it will defend its position in any court within and outside Nigeria.

“As Nigeria’s number three man, there is no need for him to do legal tourism by going to courts outside the country. He should believe in the system and go to any court in Nigeria,” the publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, told PREMIUM TIMES.

“We are ready to meet him in any court in Nigeria.If he goes to court to challenge us outside of Nigeria, he would be using the money he has taken from the Nigerian people to pay expensive lawyers outside the shores of Nigeria whereas all the evidences of his corruption are based here in Nigeria.”

Mr. Sowore said the senate under Mr. Saraki failed to raise any concern about the extra-budgetary withdrawals, even when it knew about it, because its leaders were involved in the fraud.


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  • Essence

    This will be interesting let the game begin. Nobody should weep for Sahara pretenders or Saraki. When Saraki was championing the ‘new PDP’ he was a saint. When he planted Lai Alabi in intercontinental and he wrote off Saraki’s loans in dubious circumstances there was nothing wrong. Sahara reporters became Saraki’s mouth piece defending him against prosecution. Now that Saraki has shown his true color and defy their messiah and hero of Sowore (Mr Buhari) they turn against him. Sahara reporters has lost it and nobody really take them seriously any longer. That explains why comments on the site are few and PT rising speedily.

    • Artful ºDodger

      Shut the fk up f00l. Take your baby factory hypocrisy to the latrine where you and the rest of your folks belong!

    • tundemash

      I hope u won’t be on Sahara Reporters tomorrow since u claim not to take them serious. Dindinrin !

    • John Christian Alex

      You simply showed you are a small child….

    • Burbank

      “We are ready to meet him in any court in Nigeria.”

      Over to Saraki and his multi-million dollar defence team!

  • absam777

    All the crap Saraki’s media spokes person wrote is simply playing to the gallery. Saraki is a coward. He CANNOT go to court.. Let him proof us wrong. We would like him to sue outside Nigeria. Most judges in Nigeria cannot be trusted, The readers will crowdfund to support Saharareporter.

  • persona

    This will be interesting.
    I think Saraki will only threaten to sue and not pursue it.
    Did anyone notice that the judges withdrew and threw cases out? If the evidence by SR weren’t weighty enough, the judges would have held their ground.
    The same may apply here. Saraki will be enmeshed in a bigger battle from Thursday and he may keep going down from there.
    The civilians in the arms scandal have began singing Xmas carol and that was responsible for all the people secured in EFCC’s custody today alone.
    There is no way that probe will not take Saraki down. The hurdles before him are many:
    1- His involvement with Heritage bank’s take over of Enterprise bank
    2- His alleged blackmail
    3- CCT probe
    4- SGBN
    5- Intercontinental
    6- Money laundry
    7- False declaration
    8- Embezzlement in Kwara
    9- Forgery of senate rules leading to his emergence as SP
    There is no way any of these stuff will not stick. He will have to begin to negotiate a way out soon and the window is rapidly closing.

    • Burbank

      “If the evidence by SR weren’t weighty enough, the judges would have held their ground.”

      And if the evidence by SR weren’t weighty enough, the judges would have sued SR – Premium Times for slander, which they never did.

  • tundemash

    “As a member of the Seventh Senate, Dr. Saraki was not a member of any of the committees which have oversight function on the Ministry of Defence or the intelligence and national security apparatus. If he was tagged the leader of the opposition to the Jonathan administration, how then will he be privy to arms purchases and have the influence to blackmail any government agency or institution over the release of funds,” the statement said.

    Ha! ha!! ha!!! What a weak defence. Is Bafarawa’s son a member of the Senator talkless of him being a member of any committee and yet he was said to have shared out of the arms largesse so what the heck is Ole Saraki talking about ? Is High Thief Raymond Dokpesi a member of any Senate committee ? I challenge Ole Saraki to also sue me along with SR. Annoying rogue !

    • Burbank

      Gbam

      • gboromiro

        Gbam!

  • O’odua Republic

    ALL THAT NIGERIANS WANT TO SEE OF BUKOLA SARAKI IS:

    HIS BACK!

    GO BUKOLA SARAKI ….. PLEASE GO

  • Adetunji Oladipo

    My question to omoyele sowore and sahara reporter is bukola saraki the only thief in nigeria? What about the lion of bourndillon the owner of lagos state bob chicago and others that are in apc,pdp and the super rich evil servant.

    • Dan Arewa

      Your media can concentrate on them since you think Sahara Reporters/Premium Times is not doing enough.

      • gboromiro

        Gbam!
        Adetunji for your comprehension, enjoin, ok beg Daily Telegraph, AIT, Ben Bruce Media ati bebe lo…
        Comprendez

    • Onike24

      Where you alive when SR did the same thing to BAT? Where you?

    • Awolumate

      Are u not in Naija when they charged him to CCT. Let Saraki also do the same. Why him is jumping from one court to another to stop CCT to investigate his case. I beg leave the Hero of democracy of our time alone.

    • Julius

      You must have just crawled out of a hole somewhere to be asking that question. You didnt know that SR did same battle with Tinubu also ?. If you dont, it means you are just fonting out of ignorance. Take a sit and advice Saraki on what to do next.

  • Burbank

    “We are ready to meet him in any court in Nigeria.If he goes to court to challenge us outside of Nigeria, he would be using the money he has taken from the Nigerian people to pay expensive lawyers outside the shores of Nigeria whereas all the evidences of his corruption are based here in Nigeria.”

    The most accurate statement on the Internet this week!
    Bravo Sahara Reporters!
    Keep it up, Premium Times!
    Saraki, go and get Joseph Daudu to fight your case, if you dare!

    • Julius

      He wont because of what else will come out if there is a trial. He might go to court but later withdraw the case with an excuse. Or hoping the case will not see the light of the day. He has tons of lawyers to have told him that. Sowore is not bothered by his antic , he said Bring it on !

  • Company man

    Sorwore is a thief exploiting Nigeria politicians to pay him and blackmail their perceived opponents. Shame Saraki by giving the details not have backed information.Sowore with the so called investigative journalism for four years could not see how the criminal called Lamorde former EFCC boss was looting until PMB fired the thief.Sowore is a thief milking politicians.

    • Onike24

      Stop telling idiotic lies, which Sowore? I don’t always like his reporting some of my nearest and dearest have been on the receiving side of Sahara reporters and it was not a tea party. But I can tell you this, the man does not and I repeat does not listen to or give anyone special privileges. Bukola Saraki can easily get the details of the best libel lawyer in New York, why doesn’t he commence action? He can afford to and he also has a lot at stake? “the lady doth protest too much” comes to mind here!

    • Julius

      You are such a lazy liar !. Tell us which politician has been blackmailed by SR ?. Nonsense.

  • JJ

    All I can say is God bless SaharaReporters and Premium times.

    • Julius

      Amen !!

  • Maria Darego

    This is a war between people positioning themselves for ascension to the Presidency in the post-Buhari era; and as usual all the commentators are too blinded to catch that point!!! It is not about fighting corruption or good governance; as these people would steal the country blind if they succeed, given their antecedents!!! The Senate President is one of the gladiators, the Governor of Kaduna State is another, and former Vice-President Atiku is the third! Nigerians can ask themselves which of these three is not filled with stealing and corruption! Sahara Reporters has always and will always punch for El Rufai!

  • Julius

    Let me make a prediction… Saraki will not take SR to court simply because the wind will blow and his chicken yansh will show for all to see.!. Its a ploy to hush SR and it is not gonna work. SR didnt report that he was a member of any arms purchasing committee or belonging to any arm service committee. What was reported was that he found out about the huge amount of money withdrew from the CBN and asked for a bribe so he wont blow the whistle. Oya, abeg, go to court. Im happy Sowore answered him on the record.

  • Rio Pele

    I will go with Saraki in this case. He was not a principal officer in the last Senate so how can he commandeer some senators to blackmail the CBN? I will change my mind if I see evidence from SR. For now its only an hearsay.