A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said the recent investigation of ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is becoming a persecution.
He said this on Tuesday in a statement titled “Bukola Saraki: Silence In The Face of Tyranny Is Acquiescence.”
Mr Saraki was recently accused by the EFCC of taking N12 billion from the treasury of the Kwara State Government while he was governor of the state between 2003 and 2011. The commission said the money was withdrawn in cash.
The money, EFCC said, was allegedly used by Mr Saraki to offset a N1.36billion bank loan he used in purchasing homes at 15, 15A, 17, 17A and four flats on Macdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, hence, its decision to seize the properties.
In May, the commission marked the said properties with the inscriptions: ‘EFCC, Under Investigation’ in red on the walls and the fences of the houses.
The agency believed that Mr Saraki purchased the property from the Presidential Implementation Committee for the Sale of Government Property through shell companies.
In another statement, the anti-graft agency said no amount of media campaign against its acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, will stop the prosecution of the former Senate President.
But Mr Abubaker on Tuesday said there is a huge difference between prosecution and persecution. He said it is wrong to use the instruments of state to persecute political opponents.
According to him, Mr Saraki is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigeria.
“He has been investigated and prosecuted all the way to the Supreme Court and has prevailed against his accusers. It was expected that that should have been the end of the matter.
“However, the revival of previously investigated cases, and the fact that Dr. Saraki was politically opposed to the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari seems to give strong grounds for objective bystanders to conclude that his current travails have gone beyond prosecution and are now tending towards persecution.
“The laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are made for all and we fought for democracy so that the powers of the state would not be used to suborn tyranny and oppression,” he said.
He, therefore, urged Mr Saraki to stand firm and take solace in the fact that Nigerians still hold the Constitution higher than any other authority. He also admonished Nigerians especially those tasked with upholding the Constitution and the laws of the land, to note that “silence in the face of oppression is akin to acquiescence.”
“I, Atiku Abubakar, will always stand up for the Constitution and Nigeria.”
The former lawmaker has since filed a case seeking the court’s intervention for the protection and enforcement of the rights.
He said that the current investigation constitutes an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
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