Fresh trouble for Saraki, as Kwara govt. moves to retrieve 90 properties from him, others

Justice Elelu-Habeeb sacked by Saraki heads panel

Saraki and Abdulrazaq

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is facing fresh trouble of accountability for his political reign in Kwara State.

This follows the inauguration of a panel by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State Government to retrieve over 90 properties from him and others.

The panel is chaired by a former Chief Judge of the State, Honourable Justice Raliat Elelu-Habeeb, who was sacked in questionable circumstances by Saraki when he was Governor of the State.

Justice Elelu-Habeeb was however subsequently reinstated by the Supreme Court on February 18, 2012.

Inaugurating the panel, Governor AbdulRazaq alledged that although the properties in question were built with public funds, they were unlawfully appropriated with impunity by some officials of past administrations in the State.

The properties were uncovered in a report submitted to AbdulRazaq by a probe committee headed by Senator Sulaiman Ajadi.

The investigative committee was constituted by AbdulRazaq before now to probe the handling of public assets by past administrations since 1999.

Governor AbdulRazaq noted that the probe committee “submitted two reports and we’re waiting for the final report.”

Speaking further, the governor said, “It is unfortunate that from my little reading of it so far, people just shared government property as if it was their fiefdom.

“They did not even think for one second that it was government property.

“For example, you give property to Harmony Holdings to invest on behalf of the state as trust and those in Harmony Holdings just shared the properties among themselves, even selling below the valuation prices.

“Even those in government did the same thing.

“There is a new layout called New GRA.

“None of them went there to build new houses because it was cheaper to pick government houses for next to nothing rather than build their own houses.

“We will look at the recommendations.

“In fact, some of them just live in those houses without paying anything, while most of them only started paying after the election was won and lost to the extent that the state government does not have enough accommodation to accommodate dignitaries and traditional rulers from other states to host them rather than putting them in the hotel.

“That’s how they shared the property and we are looking at more than 90 properties which they carved out for themselves.

“We’ll go back to the report of the panel and make sure the proper thing is done.”

Last week, the former Senate President lashed out at Governor AbdulRazaq for his government’s demolition of structures on land popularly known as ‘Ile Arugbo’, which the government alleged was unlawfully acquired by a company said to belong to Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki – the revered late father of Bukola Saraki.

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