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Police grill Saraki over N9.7bn loan


• Supporters besiege SFU, as ex-governor gets bail


Former Governor of Kwara State Bukola Saraki was yesterday a guest of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja where he was quizzed by investigators over a N9.7 billion loan.

The loan was said to have been obtained from the defunct Intercontinental Bank by Joy Petroleum Company, a firm which the former governor is said to have substantial interest.

The senator, who is assisting the police to clear certain grey areas in the said loan which was obtained by Joy Petroleum during his tenure as Governor of Kwara State, was released on bail last night.

The Special Fraud Unit had declared him wanted last week over his failure to honour an invitation  by the SFU in respect of the loan.

Access Bank, which has taken over Intercontinental Bank, is believed to have initiated the investigation as part of the bank’s loan recovery drive.

It was like a political rally at the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU)Milliverton Road, Ikoyi Lagos as political associates, party leaders, and supporters of Saraki  from  Kwara  came to show solidarity to the former  governor.

Saraki was supposed to appear at the SFU yesterday morning in Lagos. He later appeared in Abuja.

It was alleged that the ex-governor used three of his companies to secure the loan, which was later allegedly fraudulently written off by the  management of Intercontinental bank under Mr.  Lai Alabi.

His supporters  were led by Mr. Ishola Fulani, the Kwara State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) . They urged the police to handle the investigation with care and ensure that justice is done.

According to them, Saraki is a transparent man and can never be involved in any fraud.

The supporters, who stormed Ikoyi in over 20 buses from Ilorin,  insisted that the police must treat their political leader fairly.

Mrs. Ebun Owolabi, a member of Kwara State House of Assembly who was part of the protesters warned that police should not allow anyone to use them.

Owolabi said: “I am speaking on behalf of women in Kwara State. Nothing must happen to this man who is a man of integrity and honour. We are not saying that police should not do their job, what we are saying is that he should be treated fairly and that nothing must happen to him.”

Commissioner of Police in charge of SFU, Mr. Tunde Ogunshakin  said  his command would bring all the culprits in the alleged loan scam to book.

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ahmed, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, yesterday said Kwara government was not paralysed as a result of the solidarity protest held by the ex-governor’s supporters for him at SFU.

Oba said: “We want to place it on record that the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed was in Lagos on Sunday 29th of April 2012 with some top government functionaries to interact with Kwara professionals resident in Lagos.”

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