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Frankly Speaking With Jola Sotubo Dear Saraki, now is the time to resign

The evidence against the Senate President is extremely damning and his trial has only been on for two days.

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The corruption trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki has begun.

Saraki is being tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) after being accused of asset declaration fraud by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)

The Senate President ran from pillar to post in a bid to stop his trial but all his attempts failed.

Saraki’s trial eventually started on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, and the evidence that has already been presented against him is nothing short of astonishing.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Senate President has used fake names to steal billions of naira.

Saraki’s personal assistant, Abdul Adama is also said to have paid various sums of money, ranging from N600,000 to N900,000, into Saraki’s account 50 times in one day.

“Abdul Adama on a single day made 50 lodgements into the same account of monies between N600, 000 to N980,000. Ubi made additional 20 lodgements on the same day of cash ranging from N600, 000 to N900,000,” EFCC detective, Michael Wetkas told the CCT on Tuesday.

After a while, the pattern of inflow changed. Although the figures remained at N600,000 to N900,000, this time around lodgements were made by several individuals.

“Investigations revealed that those individuals were fictitious. The bank, when confronted, said they have done the needful by drawing a report to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU. They also provided evidence to that effect,” he added.

Saraki also allegedly continued to receive monthly salaries and pension from Kwara State until 2015 despite leaving office in May 2011.

“In May 2011, Saraki was paid N291,134.00 as salary. In June, he was paid N572,286.32. In August, he was paid N744,002.22k. In September, he received N743,942.22. In October the same year, he was paid N1,165,466.12. In December, he received the same amount as October but twice (December 27 and 28, 2011 respectively),” Wetkas told the CCT on Wednesday, April 6.

“He continued to receive the same amount monthly as pension and salary respectively until August 31, 2015, when the payment stopped after the case had been filed against him by the EFCC,” he added.

Wetkas told the CCT on Wednesday that Saraki authorised the transfer of $3.4 million dollars into his bank account in the US.

Saraki has also, through his wife, Toyin, been linked to hidden offshore assets by the recently leaked Panama Papers.

The evidence against the Senate President is extremely damning and his trial has only been on for two days.

Saraki is currently occupying the third most prestigious office in Nigeria and it would be dishonourable to allow that office be dragged through the mud along with his name and reputation.

The Senate President is still innocent until proven guilty, but he needs to do the right thing to prevent the legislature from being stained with the infamy of this trial.

Dear Bukola Saraki, now is the time to resign.

Should Saraki resign?»

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