Saraki said the controversial assets belongs to his wife's family estate.
The massive leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, had revealed that the properties, hidden in secret offshore, were part of the assets belonging to the Senate President’s immediate family.
According to Premium Times investigation on Monday, April 4, 2016, Saraki failed to declare the assets among those filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), as required by the Nigerian laws.
Saraki, through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, however insisted that he complied with the provisions of the law.
He said the controversial assets belongs to his wife's family estate.
“It is public knowledge that Mrs. Saraki comes from a family of independent means and wealth with numerous and varied assets acquired over decades in family estates and investments,” Mr. Olaniyonu said.
But in contrary, the claims by the Senate President contradicts those by his wife’s lawyers who said the assets in question solely belongs to Mrs. Saraki.
The London-based law firm of Harbottle & Lewis, who are lawyers to Mrs. Saraki, in clarifying the legal position of the controversial assets, said its client solely own them.
“Our client is the sole shareholder in Sandon Development Limited. There are not and have never been any other shareholders in Sandon Developments Limited,” Harbottle & Lewis stated in a response to enquiries by the ICIJ in a letter dated March 19, 2016.
Also in the document obtained by Premium Times, Mrs. Saraki insists she is the sole director of Girol Properties Limited.
Earlier, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) had refused to adjourn Saraki's trial as requested by his lawyers. The tribunal ordered the immediate commencement of the trial.