In reaction to the court ruling ordering the return of his two houses, former Senate President Bukola Saraki says the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) will now leave him to enjoy his life.
The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, Thursday, ordered the return of the two houses which were previously forfeited to the anti-graft agency.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa said there was no sufficient basis in the EFCC application for the permanent forfeiture of Mr Saraki’s houses.
Recall that he had, in December 2019, granted an interim forfeiture of the houses located at Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State, through an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC.
The EFCC told the court that Mr Saraki acquired the properties through proceeds of unlawful activities during his administration as the governor of Kwara State.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Friday, Mr Saraki said he was happy because the court specifically ruled that there was no evidence that the property was built with any illicit or stolen funds from the Kwara State Government or any other institution or quarter, whatsoever.
He said the last five years have been very challenging for him and his family.
“I have 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 my name and label me with charges of corruption but with the grace of Allah, I have always been victorious.”
Also, he alleged that the EFCC leadership under its erstwhile acting chair, Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, decided to take the issue of his non-confirmation by the 8th Senate, personal.
“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 EFCC, which has played significant roles in the various court cases against me from the CCT 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 statement read.