Saraki ducks tribunal, while EFCC hunts his henchman

While the Code of Conduct Bureau battles to put Sen. President BukolaSaraki in the dock at the bureau tribunal for false declaration of asset, the EFCC has also zoomed in on his property company, Carlisle Properties and Investment Ltd.
Saraki, following a federal high court order that granted his ex parte motion, didn’t show up at the Code of Conduct Tribunal Friday, but the anti-graft commission declared the company’s managing director Kennedy Izuagbe wanted Thursday.
Izuagbe has been a long-time ally of the Sarakis. He was the managing director of the family-owned SocieteGenerale Bank that went belly up about two decades ago.
The commission said Izuagbe colluded with others to launder N3.6 billion using the estate company when he was managing the defunct bank.
EFCC’s head of media, Wilson Uwajaren, said Izuagben, 45, has fled the country and couldn’t be reached by the commission. So he had to be declared wanted.
“He is linked to several shady deals and gross financial misconducts that took place in the bank, in which several millions of naira were granted as loan without due diligence,” Uwujaren said in a statement.
He urged the members of the public with information on the whereabouts of the wanted banker to contact the EFCC offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe and Kano or the nearest police station.
To scuttle his own arraignment, Saraki filed an exparte motion at a Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, asking the court to stop the Federal Ministry of Justice, the CCB and the tribunal as well as a director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, M. S Hassan, from taking any further step at the CCT pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit he filed before the court.
Hassan had pressed a 13-count charge against the Senate president at the CCT on September 11, for allegedly making anticipatory asset declaration of a houseSaraki claimed he bought at Ikoyi through Carlisle Property Ltdin 2003, when he was governor of Kwara.
He wanted the court to quash the suit because the ministry of justice hasn’t complied with the provision of the Third Schedule of Section 24 (1) of the Code of Conduct Tribunal Act. The Acts states the attorney-general of the federation should initiate any proceeding of the CCB.
“In the absence of any subsisting AGF in the time being, this court has the jurisdiction to direct parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice,”Saraki’s lawyer Mahmud Magaji argued.
The court granted the prayers, and Saraki didn’t appear before the CCT Friday, prompting Hassan to ask the tribunal to issue a bench warrant against the Senate president for not appearing.
Thursday, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, in a ruling in his chamber, had summoned the chairmen of the CCB and the CCT to appear in courtSeptember 21 to convince him why they should not be restrained from arraigning Saraki.
When he became Senate president, Saraki proclaimed he would make the anti-corruption fight one of his topmost priorities. Now he seeks protection from the CCB digging his past.

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