Former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday denied any link with the companies he is alleged to have sponsored in a multi-billion naira loan scam.
Saraki, now a senator, was at the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday for questioning over his alleged role in the fraud. He was released on bail after two hours of interrogation.
The senator is being investigated for a waiver of N9.97 billion granted by the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc to companies he allegedly promoted while he was still a governor.
But sources in the police unit said that Saraki denied any link with the companies he allegedly used to siphon the money in question.
Saraki arrived at the police unit around 11a.m. in a black Mercedes Benz jeep, accompanied by his aides in two other jeeps.
Dressed in a cream robe and a pair black sandals, Saraki did not look perturbed by the allegations of fraud levelled against him, as he walked into the office of the Unit’s Commissioner, Tunde Ogunsakin.
He left the Commissioner’s office at 1.04 p.m after about two hours of interrogation under heavy guard by the police and his supporters.
Ogunsakin then confirmed that Saraki has been granted bail, saying “investigation is still ongoing and he was detained and granted bail, so anytime we need him, we will call on him”.
A statement earlier credited to Ogunsakin named the companies that enjoyed the waivers as: Joy Petroleum Limited, Skyview Properties Limited, Dicetrade and Limkers Nigeria Limited.
The statement also disclosed that the controversial waiver of N9.97 billion that Saraki is facing investigation for, represents about 82% of loans and facilities worth N11.97 billion indebtedness granted to the companies in February 2010.
Saraki had earlier shunned invitations for questioning and also sought a court injunction to prevent his arrest by the police.
His first visit to the SFU was, however, not without controversy, though it lacked the retinue of his supporters that thronged the police office on Monday, when he was earlier expected for questioning.
Some journalists were manhandled and arrested by Ogunsakin’s personal assistant, CSP Akpan, for attempting to take Saraki’s picture.
The affected journalists were Eniola Akinkoutu of Punch Newspaper; Albert Akpor, deputy crime editor of Vanguard Newspaper; Wole Adeboye of PM news; and one Oshodi of Daily Independent Newspaper.
Others journalists involved were Patience Ogbo, a freelance journalist and Benjamin Ezeamalu of the Premium Times Online.
The journalists were only released after Saraki’s departure.
Reacting to the ordeal, Adeboye described the police intimidation as “disgusting”.
Ogunsakin however ordered Akpan to apologise to the journalists for his behaviour, when the case was brought to his knowledge.