As the 2019 elections draw closer, stories that have been buried at some point in time will begin to find their way back into the public domain. Bukola Saraki, sometime in the past, got himself involved in some really messy fund-looting scandals which are now major roadblocks in his becoming the President of Nigeria come 2019. Regardless of the many promises he has made to Nigerians about his plans for the country, a man who has been alleged repeatedly of fund-looting and mismanagement is very unlikely to win the heart of Nigerians.
The top 3 scandals that might hinder Saraki’s victory in the 2019 elections are:
Alleged Fund Looting From Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria
There have been allegations that the President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki squandered a whopping sum of over N5 billion customers deposit for selfish political gains while he served as an executive director in the now-defunct Société Generale bank of Nigeria- SGBN. This contributed to the collapse of the once vibrant bank where Saraki’s father also had controlling influence which he used to grant questionable loans to companies and cronies without collateral. Saraki was under investigation over his alleged involvement in fraud-related matters during his eight-year period as governor and his time as executive director of the defunct Societe Generale Bank Nigeria Limited (SGBN). It was also known that the Nigerian police had compiled a documented evidence on the ex-governor that contains several allegations of fraud that borders on abuse of office and money laundering. However, the police is said to have concluded the investigation into the mega fraud that triggered the collapse of the SGBN years ago but could not move against Saraki in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him on the grounds of the immunity he enjoyed as a sitting governor at that time.
N11b Scandal at the Defunct Intercontinental Bank
Bukola Saraki was also been linked to the death of Intercontinental bank. Before the emergence of Sanusi Lamido as the Governor of CBN, Dr. Bukola Saraki had taken a loan from Intercontinental Bank to the tune of N11Billion under Erastus Akingbola, the then Managing Director of the bank, with four houses in Ikoyi and Abuja as collateral. As soon as Lamido became the CBN governor, he fired Akingbola and the CEOs of five other banks and appointed acting Managing Directors. Mr. Lai Mahmoud Alabi, a former staff of Bukola Saraki was appointed by Lamido as the Acting MD of Intercontinental Bank. Alabi’s first task as the new head of Intercontinental Bank was to summon the board of directors to write off N 8.1 Billion out of the N11 Billion owed by Saraki and the Intercontinental Bank employees were replaced by employees of the also defunct Societe Generale Bank previously headed by Saraki.
The sale of Intercontinental Bank to Access bank was the most shocking part of the scandal. In 2011, Aig Imokhuede, founder of Access Bank and a debtor of Intercontinental Bank began talks with the Sanusi Lamido-led Central Bank of Nigeria to acquire Intercontinental Bank Plc. After the approval of the shareholders of Intercontinental Bank, Access Bank as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank Plc and Intercontinental Bank Plc announced the completion of the recapitalization of Intercontinental Bank and the acquisition of 75% majority interest in Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank Plc. In effect, Intercontinental Bank (including all its assets, liabilities and undertakings) became a subsidiary of Access Bank Plc.
Alleged Involvement in Murder, Armed Robbery, and Fund Mismanagement
Some suspected killers in May 2018, named the Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki and Kwara State governor, Mr. Abdulfattah Ahmed, as two of the men who ordered them to kill many Kwara State indigenes in Nigeria and abroad. According to these suspects, they have been on the payroll of the Kwara State Government and also received Toyota Corolla cars from Saraki to secure their loyalty ahead of the 2019 elections. To back up their story, bank statements were gotten from the suspects showing details of money they received on a monthly basis from Saraki and the Kwara State Government which ran into millions of Naira. Following their confession, the Senate President and Mr. Ahmed have accused the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Lawal Idris, of planning to frame them for murder. The case is, however, still under investigation.
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