EFCC grills Saraki’s wife, PDP BOT’s chair for hours


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For about six hours yesterday, crack investigators of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) grilled Mrs. Oluwatoyin Saraki, wife of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

The team also quizzed the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Haliru Bello Mohammed and ex-First Lady of Kebbi State, Hajiya Zainab Dakingari (the daughter of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua) over alleged N2 billion contracts in the state.

But Hajiya Zainab had a brief interaction with the EFCC team because of her ill-health.

Moved by her condition, the EFCC allowed a director to stand as surety for her, pending her being fit for questioning.

Her condition affected the planned interaction with the Chairman of the BOT of PDP, who will be re-invited by the anti-graft commission.

Mohammed’s invitation is said to be for alleged “unexecuted” contracts in Kebbi State.

The star attraction was Mrs. Saraki, whose invitation by the EFCC  generated mixed reactions in the media.

According to a source, Mrs. Saraki arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency at about noon.

She was accompanied by  senators, members of the House of Representatives, wives of Kwara State commissioners and others.

Her supporters milled around the EFCC headquarters.

The source said: “For about five hours, our investigators interacted with her on some issues having to do with her tenure as the First Lady of Kwara State.

“She was calm and she responded to questions from the EFCC team. It was the first time she got to know why she was invited.

“We will not give you the details in order not to prejudice ongoing investigation.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “I cannot say whether she will be detained or not because we are still talking with her.”

The source said Mrs. Dakingari, “appeared briefly, but she looked frail and we had to give her time to take care of her health.”

“She is expected back after recovering from the ill-health. Actually, we were to interrogate her alongside the Chairman of the BOT of the PDP, but we could not.

“The two people have questions to respond to on the award of some contracts in Kebbi State.”

Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “The three people came and met with our team.”

After her release, Mrs. Saraki released a statement, in which she said she has nothing to hide.

She promised to cooperate with the EFCC and she asked the anti-graft commission to adopt global best practices.

The statement said: “As a citizen with utmost respect for higher standard of democratic accountability, Mrs. Saraki visited the EFCC at their invitation.

“Mrs. Saraki made herself available to assist the commission wholeheartedly with any lawful enquiries they may have.

“Mrs. Saraki will continue to cooperate with EFCC and she hopes for a prompt and positive resolution in the satisfaction of this enquiry.

“Having placed emphasis on the importance of accountability, transparency and diligent reporting, Mrs. Saraki maintained that she has always operated within the law and to the highest standard of global compliance in all her activities.

“Mrs. Saraki affirmed her willingness to assist the EFCC and expect that the spirit of this enquiry will follow global standard and principles of open democracy, transparency and impartiality that the EFCC and other similar organisations around the world are founded upon.

“Mrs. Saraki looks forward to drawing a line under this matter and will continue to focus on her global advocacy on maternal, newborn baby and child health.”

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