N21 Billion loan fraud latest: Police issue order to arrest Saraki

Senator Bukola Saraki
Crack detectives from the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police fanned out this afternoon with orders to arrest former governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, who is a star actor in a N21 Billion loan scam for which he has played hide and seek with the police for about five days now.
The police order was issued shortly after Justice Gladys Olotu presiding at the Federal High Court 4 in Abuja today denied the former governor, now a serving senator, a plea to restrain the police from interrogating or arresting him.
The SFU spokesperson, Ngozi Isinume, said the detectives received a green light “since it has been discovered that there is no injunction restraining us”, ruling out any need to declare the former governor wanted.
“We are arresting him we don’t need to declare him wanted, we are arresting him,” she told Premium Times from her desk at the Milverton Road headquarters of the SFU in Ikoyi Lagos.
As far as the case was concerned, Justice Olotu sided with the reasoning of the police counsel, Femi Falana, that regardless of Mr. Saraki’s rights to liberty, the police has the power to arrest, investigate, and prosecute him upon reasonable suspicion that he has committed a criminal offence.
She also said in the circumstances of this case Mr. Saraki is not entitled to seek for an interim injunction against the police.
Represented by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who were led by Saka Isiaku and Lawal Rabana, Mr. Saraki had prayed that Justice Olotu restrain the special anti-fraud unit of the Nigeria police from questioning him over his involvement in the N21 Billion million loan scam perpetrated at the now defunct InterContinental Bank.
In press statements, Mr. Saraki had repeatedly claimed he had no hand in the said scam and that he had no relationship with the company, Joy Petroleum, used to move the money in contention. The police however insist that their records point strongly in the direction of Mr. Saraki and that, in any case, they would like to hear his own side of the story.
The police say they are puzzled by findings, in the course of their investigation, into this crime, and particularly by revelations from the accounts of Joy Petroleum, from which they found that credit transfers were made at a time the sole operator of the account, Mr. Obahor, a former aide of Mr. Saraki was long deceased.
The police also wondered how a debt of N9.7 Billion was dramatically written off from the same account that in turn was closed by one Abdul Adamu, who they found out to be an aide of Mr. Saraki.
While Mr. Saraki constantly harped on the fact that he had no relationship with Joy Petroleum, the police have asked how come the head office of the company on No 30 Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos belongs to Mr. Saraki. The police also question the fact that he had used his office as the Governor of Kwara State to influence the purchase of the stock of the company by the Kwara State Ministry of Finance. Above all, the police said Mr. Saraki had been an open promoter of Joy Petroleum Ltd. and on several occasions used his personal properties to guarantee loans taken by the company.

The police said it also wants the former governor to assist it clarify why the names in the documentations of the Bank included his wife, Toyin Saraki, and his former Commissioner of Finance and current Governor of Kwara State, Abdufattah Ahmed.

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