EFCC accuses Saraki of receiving salaries despite ended tenure, Kwara state calls it pension

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Senator Bukola Saraki facing trial
Senator Bukola Saraki facing trial at the CCT

Hehe. It matters what you call this money that is causing trouble as the EFCC and Kwara State government seem to be at loggerheads over this issue. During the second day of the scandalous trial of Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki’s at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday April 6th,  Michael Wetkas, a detective of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who started testifying against Saraki on April 5th, told the court today that Saraki was still collecting monthly salaries from the coffers of the state governor four years after leaving office.

See Also: How Sen Saraki allegedly deposited Kwara state’s $180,000 in his personal account

The Cable reported that bank statements from Access bank showed that he collected the money from the state

“In the course of our investigation, we wrote to Access Bank for them to give us details of the salary account of the defendant. The salary that was coming into the account was N254, 212 as of 1 August 2007.

 “As of June 3, 2011, the salary was N291, 124. On July 4, there was another payment with the narration Kwara State Government (KSG) June 2011 salary. The amount was N572, 286. On August 29, 2011, there was another payment in the sum of N744, 002 from the Kwara state government. On September 29, 2011 there was another payment of N743, 942 with the narration salary payment from KSG. On October 27, 2011, there was another payment of N1, 165, 468 for salary. In November 2011, there was payment of the same amount. The narration was December pension. On February 1, 2012, there was payment of the same amount with the narration for pension. The salary payments stopped in this account on August 31, 2015. The defendant left office on May 29, 2011, he became senator in the same.”.

See Also: Senators scramble for succession as Senate President Saraki considers resignation

 

The Kwara state government however denied paying salaries to Bukola Saraki for four years after he stepped aside as governor of the state. Reacting to the claim of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the former governor was receiving salaries from the state after he left office, Isiaka Gold, secretary to the Kwara state government, said Saraki’s last salary was N291,474.00 for the month of May 2011.

He said that since May 2011 when he left office as governor, Saraki had only been receiving pension – not salary.

“From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension, which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country,” Gold said in a statement.

The statement added that after the review of pensions of former political office holders by the state pension board, the former governor’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date.

“Kwara State Government, therefore, dismisses as false and misleading, the allegation that former Governor Saraki was receiving salaries after the expiration of his two-term tenure as governor of the state,” the statement read.

“Interested stakeholders should seek clarification from appropriate authority to avoid misleading the public.”

See Also: Sen. Saraki disappointed in Supreme Court ruling

Earlier on Tuesday, Wetkas had detailed how Saraki allegedly used fictitious names to launder billions of naira. The EFCC detective said, among many other revelations, that Abdul Adama, one of Saraki’s personal assistants, made transaction 50 times into the former governor’s account in a single day, broken down to N600,000 and N900,000 on each occasion.

On Wednesday, Wetkas also alleged that the senate president paid $180,000 into his account with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) ande used state loans to buy properties for himself.

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