Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said that there was nothing wrong in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
He however said that EFCC’s revival of previously investigated cases against Saraki, and the fact that the former Senate President, politically opposed Muhammadu Buhari’s government seems to give strong indication that his current travails have gone beyond prosecution and tending towards prosecution.
The EFCC had initially claimed that it was investigating alleged corrupt acts committed by Saraki while he was the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.
However, the EFCC recently wrote the Clerk of the Senate, asking him to furnish it with the receipts, cash books and documents of the contracts of the Office of the President of the 8th Senate.
The former senator and the anti-graft agency had also on Monday engaged in arguments over who is using media campaigns against each other.
But Atiku, in a post on his official Twitter handle said “Ordinarily, there is nothing wrong in prosecuting immediate past Senate President, @bukolasaraki. He, himself, has indicated his preparedness to have his day in court. We, however, hope that he will indeed be prosecuted and not persecuted.
The Twitter post shared a link to a post on his official Facebook page entitled “Bukola Saraki: Silence In the face of tyranny is akin to acquiescence.”
In the Facebook post, Atiku feared EFCC’s prosecution of Saraki, in matters he has been supposedly tried before up to the Supreme Court, has indications that suggest to a bystander that it could be nothing but a witch-hunt.
He wrote: “I stand against corruption in government, which was why my office personally facilitated the take-off of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with a loan, after that most important anti-corruption institution was founded by then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“However, there is a huge difference between prosecution and persecution. I am all for prosecuting the corrupt, but I believe it is wrong to use the instruments of state to persecute political opponents.
“Dr. Abubakar Saraki, the immediate past Senate President, is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigeria. He has been investigated and prosecuted all the way to the Supreme Court and has prevailed against his accusers. It was expected that that should have been the end of the matter.
“However, the revival of previously investigated cases, and the fact that Dr. Saraki was politically opposed to the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari seems to give strong grounds for objective bystanders to conclude that his current travails have gone beyond prosecution and are now tending towards persecution.
“The laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are made for all and we fought for democracy so that the powers of the state would not be used to suborn tyranny and oppression.
“In the instance, I urge Dr. Bukola Saraki to stand firm and take solace in the fact Nigerians still hold the constitution higher than any other authority.
“I urge all Nigerians, and especially those tasked with upholding the constitution and the laws of the land, to note that silence in the face of oppression is akin to acquiescence. I, Atiku Abubakar, will always stand up for the constitution and Nigeria.”