The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in February 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, said that there were strong indications that the Federal Government was persecuting a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The former Vice President explained that fresh investigation of Saraki by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over his tenures as Kwara State Governor, between 2003 and 2011 and Senate President from 2015 to 2019, objectively could be seen as persecution instead of prosecution.
Atiku, in a statement titled, ‘Bukola Saraki: Silence in the face of tyranny as acquiescence,’ said the Saraki is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigeria.
He added that the former Kwara State Governor had been investigated and prosecuted all the way to the Supreme Court by FG and had prevailed against FG.
According to him, it was expected that that should have been the end of the matter.
He said, “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 Saraki was politically opposed to the administration of 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.”
He clarified that he stood against corruption in government, saying that was why his office personally facilitated the take-off of the EFCC after it was created by then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku stated that he was all for prosecuting corrupt people, but added that it was wrong to use the instruments of state to persecute political opponents.
He advised Saraki to stand firm and take solace in the fact that Nigerians still hold the constitution higher than any other authority.
He urged Nigerians, 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.
He added that he would always stand up for the constitution and Nigeria.