The former governor of Kwara state, Dr Bukola Saraki, Friday, adduced reasons why he cannot be arrested by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force, following his alleged involvement in an N21billion loan scam.
The erstwhile governor who is currently representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, equally urged the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, to show respect to the judiciary by halting further investigation into the case, pending the determination of a motion on notice he filed before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Specifically, police had in a letter dated April 3, 2012, entitled, “investigation activities, letter of invitation”, signed by the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit Lagos, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, summoned the former governor to appear for interrogation over his alleged complicity in acts of fraud.
The said letter of invitation which was obtained by Saturday Vanguard, reads: “This office is in receipt of and investigating a case of Conspiracy, Forgery and Stealing the sum of N21bn (Twenty–One Billion Naira) belonging to Joy Petroleum Ltd. The investigation has reached an advanced stage and is expected to be concluded soon.
“With due respect, I humbly wish to request the pleasure of his distinguished to consider this letter as an invitation to this office with the aim of assisting our investigation.
“It would be appreciated if his Excellency can make himself available on Thursday, 5th April 2012 at 1200hrs at Special Fraud Unit, Sunday Adewusi House, 13, Milverton Road, Ikoyi-Lagos. Accept our esteem regards, please.”
However, rather than honour the invitation, Saraki, went before the Abuja high court with a view to securing an order that will stop Police from questioning, arresting of harassing him over the said allegation.
In a motion ex-parte that was filed by his lead counsel, Mr R.A Lawal Rabana, SAN, Saraki, urged the court to among other things, determine “whether it is not a violation of the plaintiff’s right under section 34(a) and section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) for the Defendant to invite the plaintiff to appear before the police without any allegations and or accusations specifically made against him.
As well as, “Whether the letter of 3rd April 2012 written by the agent of the defendant to the plaintiff can be complied with by the plaintiff, in the absence of any specific allegations made against the plaintiff.”
Moreover, he beseeched the court for a “declaration that the defendant or any of its agent and or officers can not invite the plaintiff to appear before it in any investigation of any matter in which no allegations have been made against the plaintiff or disclosed to the plaintiff.
Likewise to make “an order setting aside the letter of 3rd April 2012 reference No CR 3000/S/SFU/ADM/CEMN.3/VOL13/54 written by the agent of the defendant to the plaintiff, and issue order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, its agents and officers from acting in any way or manner to the letter of 3rd April 2012.”
Though trial Justice Gladys Olotu had on Thursday, adjourned till May 22 to hear a counter-affidavit that the acting IGP filed against the application, however, Saraki, yesterday, expressed his fears that the defendant may be hatching subterranean plots to arrest him before the set date.
Addressing a press conference at the premises of the high court yesterday, his lead counsel, Mr Rabana, SAN, who insisted that the whole investigation exercise was targeted at tarnishing the political image of his client, further dared the Police to show a nexus between the former governor as a person, and the financial transactions of Joy Petroleum Nigeria Limited.
Warning that arresting the former governor during the pendency of his suit seeking the enforcement of his fundamental human rights would tantamount to contempt of court, Rabana, SAN, enjoined the Police IG to maintain status-quo-ante, pending the determination of the case.