The former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has said he will remain in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP even if he did not get the presidential ticket in 2023.

Saraki’s Ikoyi houses not bought with Kwara funds – Court

…sets aside interim forfeiture order on properties

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, set aside its order of interim forfeiture made on October 21, 2019 against the properties of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, located at 17 and 17A MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.

The judge, Justice Liman vacated the order in his judgment after counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Nnaemeka Omewa, and counsel to Senator Saraki, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, adopted their respective written addresses for and against the making of the final forfeiture order sought by the EFCC against Senator Saraki’s properties.

The court held that the essence of an interim order of forfeiture was to preserve the property from being dissipated by the suspect and the burden is on the applicant, that is the EFCC, to satisfy the Court that the property is a proceeding of unlawful or illegal activity under the corruption laws.

The court, however, found that the Applicant had in its affidavit in support of its motion for final forfeiture stated that the properties sought to be forfeited were purchased with a personal loan Senator Saraki obtained from a new generation bank.

The court agreed with the respondent’s counsel’s submission that the burden of proof for final forfeiture is on the preponderance of evidence and that the applicant had failed to show that the monies used to purchase the property were from the Kwara State government house account.

The court was not satisfied that the respondent had paid off the loan used to purchase the property.

The evidence of the transactions presented by the applicant were in respect of transactions made after he had purchased the property and the proceeds used for the purchase were legal, that is loans. In the final analysis, the court held that the applicant failed to prove its entitlement to the relief of final forfeiture of the Respondent’s properties, accordingly dismissed the application and vacated the interim forfeiture order it made on October 21, 2019.

Reacting to this ruling, Saraki via his verified Twitter handle, said, “I thank the Almighty Allah who has given me the opportunity to serve my State and Country; and who has given me the strength to continually fight to assert my innocence. By His grace, I have always served with diligence, honour and integrity and I will continue to do so.

“I have always believed in the judiciary as the bastion that protects and upholds the rights and liberties of citizens in any democracy. And for this reason, I express my gratitude to the Court for upholding the laws of our land.

“It is my fervent hope that this judgment will put an end to the campaign of calumny waged against my person and allow me focus on my life as a law-abiding Nigerian citizen.”

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