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Kwara Assembly justifies seizure of Saraki’s property

The Kwara State House of Assembly has explained why it ordered the seizure of some property said to belong to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The seized assets are the Alimi Chalet and an expanse of land, identified as “Ile Arugbo.”

Justifying why it ordered for the seizure of the assets, the Assembly said in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Ibrahim Sheriff, that the property belonged to the state government and there was no evidence that Saraki paid for them.

It added that the allocation of the classy property to Saraki by the immediate past administration in the state was a “violent violation” of the former governors’ Pension Law 2010, as amended, which had already taken care of him (Saraki).

The statement titled: “Our position on the seizure of Alimi Chalet, Saraki’s House,” the lawmakers said:

“The Ile Arugbo had been erected on land originally meant for the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic and Phase II of the State Government Secretariat without any evidence that anyone paid a dime to the government for the land.

“The noise surrounding the affected property is politically motivated, as other public property unlawfully acquired are also being looked into.

“We dare say that allowing impunity to stand, no matter who is affected and how long it has taken place, is a disservice to the state and its people.

“Apart from the fact that the purported sale of the Alimi Chalet did not conform to the Kwara State former Governors’ Pension Law 2010, as amended, which incidentally was the brainchild of Saraki, we contend that there is no record anywhere that Saraki paid a dime to have the property transferred to him. The transfer only fits into what the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti called ‘paddy-paddy’ arrangement.”

The lawmakers, therefore, challenged the affected parties to prove they legally acquired the property by presenting evidence of payment.

The statement added: “The pension law takes adequate care of the former governor (Saraki). The law allows ex-governors to own a five-bedroome duplex, as opposed to the Alimi Chalet, which consists of three separate chalets with three boys’ quarters of three rooms each and, therefore, does not fit into the recommendation of the pension law of 2010.

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“Aside from the three houses on over one hectare of land on Alimi Road supposedly given to Saraki under the state pension law, ex-governor also got N250million under the same law to build another retirement home for himself.

“The said Alimi Chalet, which was gifted to him, is the property of the people of Kwara State and was never contemplated as a gift to former governors.”

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