FG Interested in re-opening Saraki money laundering case: Requests IG to hand over File. - SEEPMUZiK BLOG


Saturday, 14 March 2015

FG Interested in re-opening Saraki money laundering case: Requests IG to hand over File.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and that of the Inspector General of Police might have disagreed on what to do with former Kwara Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on his alleged use of fronts to withdraw the sum of N6 billion from the accounts of a company, Joy Petroleum, domiciled in Intercontinental Bank, now Access.

Initially, the Office of the IG had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja on April 26, 2012 to press charges against the former governor for conspiracy, forgery and stealing after claiming to have initiated a comprehensive investigation into a petition sent to it by Joy Petroleum that it was being denied access by the bank following the illegal change of signatory to the account by unknown persons.

But in a legal advice to the IG on the move to prosecute Saraki and others named by the petitioner, the Attorney General advised against taking any action against Saraki and his aides over the bank issue, since from the records available to his office, the former governor had not committed any offence to warrant such trial.
In the legal document, dated 9thOctober 2012, with reference Number DPP/ADV: 061/12, and signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mrs. O.O. Fatunde, the AGF Office, noted that it would be improper to hold Saraki liable for the internal actions of the then Intercontinental Bank.
In 2012, The AGF Office said: "It would therefore be improper and unjust in the circumstance to hold Dr. Saraki , Mr. Pinheiro or indeed the companies criminally liable for the internal actions and decisions of the bank and its officials bordering on exercise of discretion.
"Every customer of a bank (corporate or individual) has the right to apply for a loan on the most favourable terms possible. This alone does not constitute any offence under any law because it is within the discretion of the bank to grant or refuse such loan application.
"Dr. Saraki and Pinheiro are alleged to be connected with the grant of the loans as promoter and director respectively of the companies. By virtue of Section 18 of the Act, a director or any other partner or officer of a company can only be held responsible in that capacity for the actions of the company if the company is guilty of an offence under the Act.
"Since the company in this case cannot be held to have committed any offence under Section 15( 1) (a), it follows that Dr. Saraki and Mr. Pinheiro cannot also be held criminally responsible only on account of having acted as promoter and director of the companies in connection with the said loan," the DPP advised.
However in a new twist that is likely to upturn the whole investigation and pave the way for the prosecution of the former governor, the Attorney General has written a different letter to the IG to hand over the case file to him for further action.
In the new letter, the AGF in insisting that his office needed to carry out further review of the case file before any further action is taken on the matter.
In a memo with reference No. DPP/ADV: 061/12/91 and addressed to the Inspector General of Police with particular attention to the Commissioner of Police Special Fraud Unit, and signed by Haruna Isa Alabi, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, the AGF said his office wanted the case file to be able to ascertain whether the evidence presented against Saraki and others was borne out of mere suspicion or was capable of sustaining a conviction before trial.
Saraki has said that there was no infraction of any law in the matter, which his companies obtained loans and paid back to the banks through agreed terms of settlement.
But the former IG, Mohammed Abubakar, who initiated the trial of Saraki, had alleged among other things that the former governor made the bank to lose funds by using his fronts while serving as governor to engage in money laundering.
Saraki was last week accused by Chief Femi-Fani Kayode, Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) of being behind a documentary detailing a Love triangle between the Petroleum Minister, Deziani Alison Maduekwe, President Jonathan and Patience Jonathan.
He has since denied this.
Blog Source : Nigerian Eye
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