The police in Lagos have told PM News they will soon be ready to prosecute Senator Bukola Saraki, and that the delay in the process is to ensure that the investigation is thorough so that the prosecution is not thrown out by a court on a technicality.
In an interview published in today’s edition, Mr. Ayotunde Ogunsakin, the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), told the newspaper that as a matter that involves an important personality and some other individuals, the Saraki case cannot be hidden.
Below are some excerpts from the interview:
Sir what’s the update on Saraki’s case and why have you refused to prosecute him? It’s not that we have refused to prosecute him, you must be aware that we are doing a very extensive and painstaking investigation, we don’t want a situation where we rush him to court and the case will be thrown out. As it is now, we have carried out extensive investigation and it involves a lot of work. However, what I can tell you at this stage is that investigation is almost concluded. The whole world we know when we conclude the investigation. It’s not a case that can be hidden as it involves an important personality and some other individuals. So we are doing a painstaking and intensive investigation so as not to get to court unprepared. That’s all I can tell you. We want to be as diligent as possible.
We are aware that you are investigating a case in FAAN, can we get the update? Yes, that is also a very critical case in the sense that it has to be extensive as we want it to be. It has to do with the officials of FAAN, Senior officials of FAAN past and present; senior officials of Ministry of Aviation, past and present; very senior officials. I won’t be able to give details now so as not to impede our investigation. Since some of the people we are investigating are still in office, we don’t want to give all the details out. However, I can tell you it has to do with funds and inappropriate use of funds, inappropriate funding in terms of training outside Nigeria and inappropriateness in the award of contracts. These are some of the allegations…and you know the issue of FAAN is very sensitive as it has to do with planes flying and all that, especially with the problems in the aviation industry. We want to be as painstaking as possible, and we don’t want our investigation to disrupt operations at the airport.
Most time when you charge suspects to court, when they are granted bail, they come back to the same crime. What do you think is the solution?
I think that’s the society issue. Like you are aware that we arrested a guy recently who committed the same offence and we took him to court; at the court he was granted bail but as soon as he was out, he was discovered to have gone and defraud another person, committing same offence and so we had to pick him up again. I think it has to do with justice administration, and it appears that the justice system is slow but surely we will get there. At times maybe we need to review our laws too, to tackle issues like this, so there can be an improvement in our legislation, especially in fraud cases like this. Or other issues that require National Assembly to look into our fraud and evidence cases, so that when something like this comes up, they can also assist the police to curb such offences. What I can say is that we cannot say the judiciary isn’t doing enough but like all facets of the society, the police reform and the judiciary are places we should look into as well. Our legislation also has to be looked at.