Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki says the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, took his non-confirmation by the 8th Senate personal hence his decision to go after him.
Saraki said this in a statement while reacting to the court order on the return of his two houses.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos had on Thursday ordered that Saraki’s two houses in Ilorin which had been seized by the EFCC be returned to him.
The judge said there was no sufficient basis in the EFCC application for the permanent forfeiture of Saraki’s houses.
Reacting to his victory in a statement, Saraki said the EFCC under Magu’s leadership put him through many legal challenges.
He wrote, “I know that the Senate under my leadership only followed the due and normal procedure during the confirmation process and we never executed any personal agenda against Magu. The records of the Senate are there for the perusal of all Nigerians interested in the truth.
“I hope that with the outcome of today’s case, EFCC learns that a serious issue like the fight against corruption should not be reduced to a forum-shopping means to execute a personal vendetta or prosecute a parochial agenda.
“With the decision of the court, it is my expectation that the EFCC, which has played significant roles in the various court cases against me from the CCT (Code of Conduct Tribunal) to the Supreme Court and back at the Federal High Court with the consequent media trial and malicious campaigns will now leave me alone to live my life, and enjoy my unfettered rights to freedom of thought, expression, association, occupation and dignity, as a private citizen and focus on serious issues of national development.”
The former governor of Kwara State said he had endured and defeated one false allegation and malicious litigation after another, in an ill-motivated persecution, intimidation and harassment, through which some vested interests sought to damage his name and label him with charges of corruption but he continued to emerge victorious.
Magu was rejected by the Saraki-led Senate twice based on a report by the Department of State Services which described the suspended EFCC boss as corrupt.