Nigeria police in Ilorin questioned and then released several domestic aides as well as some members of the security detail assigned to Senate President Bukola Saraki in connection with the mysterious disappearance of N300 million from the senator’s bedroom in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State.
An investigation by SaharaReporters confirmed that the money that went missing at the home of Mr. Saraki in Ilorin had just been ferried there by the state government in different foreign exchange denominations. SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Saraki called on Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to provide the cash to enable the senator to provide largesse to his supporters in Ilorin at the start of the Ramadan season.
This is not the first time that a gargantuan sum of cash connected to Mr. Saraki grew wings and disappeared. Last year, agents of the Department of State Security (DSS) attached to the embattled Senate President stole a huge sum of money that the owner of a bureau de change, who is a cousin of former military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, was ferrying to Mr. Saraki. Several months after their arrest, the DSS agents have yet to be formally charged to court for robbery, SaharaReporters found out. A source within the agency told our correspondent that the DSS and Mr. Saraki were colluding to cover up the case. “Senator Saraki does not want the public to start asking questions about the source of the money. And the DSS does not want the role of our agents to become public knowledge,” the source disclosed.
Two reliable sources in Ilorin confirmed the latest heist of the illicit cash approved by Governor Ahmed of Kwara State and sent to Mr. Saraki’s home in the state capital. Mr. Saraki, a former governor of Kwara State, had anointed Mr. Ahmed as his successor.
One of our sources claimed that this was the second time in a month that large sums of money disappeared from the Senate President’s Ilorin mansion.
A police source in the state disclosed that detectives had quizzed and released the accountant to Mr. Saraki and several of his security and domestic aides. The source added that their hasty release was apparently a measure to ensure that the financial scandal did not attract publicity or media attention.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said on Sunday that some robbers burgled his home in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, about two weeks ago and stole N12m cash.
Saraki, who gave the explanation in Abuja through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also explained that the money was stolen from the Administrative Office located next door to the house.
He said, “Unknown persons broke into the safe in the Administrative Office and stole the N12m. The incident had since been reported to the police and the Kwara State Police Command is investigating the matter with a view to nailing the culprits.
“There is therefore no truth in the claim by SaharaReportersthat the money ran into hundreds of millions; that it was in foreign currency or that the incident happened in Dr. Saraki’s room. The amount was simply in naira and the money has nothing to do with the Kwara State Government.”
The statement further explained that the money “does not belong to the Kwara State Government, as being insinuated by some people.”
It argued that Saraki was not a poor man before 2003 when he was elected the state governor and that it was unfortunate that some people believe that he could no longer own any money without people attributing the source of his wealth to the Kwara State Government.
The statement noted that Saraki would allow the police to do their work and unravel the person or persons behind the theft.