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    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Inside The N10billion Assets Saraki Declared As Governor

    The President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, currently facing corruption charges, was worth N10 billion (by current exchange rate) at the time he assumed office as governor of Kwara State in 2003.
    While his entire assets, including cash, landed properties and shares in Nigeria and abroad stood at about N8 billion, those of his wife totalled N1.8 billion and his four children N202 million.

    These are contained in the asset declaration form and the affidavit Mr. Saraki deposed to before an Ilorin High Court and submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau on September 16, 2003.
    The document entitled “Form CCB 1: Asset Declaration Form for Public Officers,” was exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.
    Mr. Saraki was on September 18 this year docked at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.
    He was specifically accused of deliberately manipulating the asset declaration form he submitted prior to his assumption of his current position as senate president.

    Although he pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming his ordeal was politically motivated, the CCT adjourned the case to October 21, 22 and 23 for further hearing.
    His wife had earlier been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged complicity in shady contract deals during her husband’s tenure as governor between 2003 and 2011.
    The assets declaration form showed that Mr. Saraki, who was a little over 40 years at the time he assumed office, had only N2.5 million cash at hand and a total of N51 million in various Nigerian banks at the time he filed the document.
    He was also worth a total of £2.9 million and $400,000 lodged in some foreign banks at the time. That was besides owning landed and movable assets running into billions of naira and pound sterling in Nigeria and London.
    He also held a substantial number of shares in a number of local and foreign companies valued at millions of naira and pounds.

    Mr. Saraki said while he had N11,050,000 in the defunct Societe Generale Bank, where his family had interest, he had N350,000, N3 million and N390,000 in EcoBank, Guaranty Trust Bank and the defunct Citizen Bank, respectively, all in Lagos.
    Besides, one of Mr. Saraki’s companies – Better Foods Ltd – had N600,000 and N23 million in Citizen Bank, Broad Street, Lagos and Societe Generale Bank, Oke Arin Street, Lagos, respectively.
    Two other companies, namely Carlisle Properties & Investment Limited and BAS Trading and Manufacturing Ltd had N10.2 million and N2.9 million in accounts domiciled in EcoBank and Guaranty Trust Bank.
    The senate president, in Appendix 2 of the document, declared a total of £905,000 in one of his offshore accounts domiciled in Coutts & Co. 440 Strand, London.
    Tyberry Corporation, another of his companies, had £2 million in Forte Bank, Camoile Street, London.

    He also opened an account for his company, Eficaz Ltd, at Northern Trust International Banking Corporation Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner, where he had $400,000 at the time he declared the assets.
    In Appendix 3 of the form, Mr. Saraki also detailed eight landed property scattered in various parts of Lagos and Abuja which he said he acquired between December 1991 and March 2000, all valued at N2.3 billion.
    According to him, a plot of land in Lekki, Lagos that he acquired in February 1992 was valued at N7 million while another one in Ajah he got in November 1992 was valued at N5 million.
    Yet in November 1996, he acquired a plot in the Maitama District at N160 million.
    Other properties he declared are those owned by his companies – a N750 million property at 42 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi owned by Skyview Properties Ltd; a N500 million property at 19 Ruxton road, Ikoyi, Lagos by Skyview Properties Ltd; and a N100 million property at 62 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.
    He declared the rental value of the property as N110 million, N65 million and N6 million per annum, respectively.
    One of his companies, Carlisle Properties Ltd owned a property worth N160 million at No 15A & 15B McDonald Road, Ikoyi while BAS Trading owned a property on Musa Yar’Adua Street, Victoria Island, also in Lagos, valued at N700 million.
    The rental income of the latter was N96 million per annum. He did not disclose that of the former.
    Outside Nigeria, Mr. Saraki had landed property worth $12.9 million, all of which he listed in Appendix 5.
    The properties, according to the document, were all located in London, UK.
    According to him, the value of the properties at 123 Ashley Gardens, Thirlebey Road, London, (acquired in April 1990), 54 Ashley Road Gardens, Ambrasden Avenue ( acquired in January 1995) and 70 Bourne Street, London SW 1 (acquired in January 2002), were valued at $750,000, $2.55 million and $4.8 million, respectively.
    He also declared some properties as belonging to his companies.
    The property at 56 Cheque Road, London (valued at $900,000) and another located at Ormond House, Crimond Street, London SW 1 (valued at $400,000) were owned by European & America Trading Company.

    Three others located at 53, 54 and 141 Ashley Gardens, London, were owned by Tyberry Corporation. The values were $2.5 million, $2.5 million and $600,000.
    In Appendix 4, Mr. Saraki listed 15 various movable assets, mainly motor vehicles which he acquired between 1997 and 2002 all at a total value of N263.4 million.
    The vehicles and their prices are a Mercedes S320 valued at N16 million; Mercedes S500 (N20 million); Mercedes G500 (N18 million); Mercedes V220 (N6million); Mercedes 300 E (N2 million); Ferrari 456 GT (N25 million); Navigator (N15 million); Mercedes ML 240 (N8.5 million); Peugeot 406 (N2.9 million); Mercedes CLK 320 (N9 million).
    Others are Mercedes E320 (N11 million); Mercedes 500 (Bullet Proof), N45 million; Mercedes S500 (Bullet Proof), N30 million; Lexus Jeep (Bullet Proof), N30 million; and Lincoln Navigator (Bullet Proof), N25 million.
    He said he acquired the cars proceeds of “Business” and “Savings.”

    Mr. Saraki also declared a number of shares he held in different companies in Nigeria and abroad.
    For instance, in Nigeria, the senate president said at the time he became governor he had a total of 1,204,653 shares in four companies valued at N2.2 million.
    The companies were African Petroleum, UNIPETROL, Airline Catering and Central Petroleum.
    Other organisations where he held huge shares were GTB where he had 100,000 worth N425,000.
    These shares in the bank were however bought in his son’s name, Seni.
    Outside Nigeria, Mr. Saraki declared he had shares in five companies, namely Gensoft, All African Media Coy, Merrill BBH Fund, Mundernet Fund and Izorch Inc.
    The 100,000 shares he held at Gensoft were valued at €2.6 million while the total number of shares in the remaining four companies was worth $6.1 million.
    His company, HAUSSMAN, however held 160 units of shares with a total value of $1.5 million in some foreign companies. It had 25,000 shares valued at $100,000 in Mundernet Fund, 10,000 valued at $400,000 in Eaton Vanice Fund, 50,000 shares valued at $700,000 in PIMCO Fund and 75,000 shares worth $300,000 in Merrill BBH.

    He stated in the assets declaration form that his wife held an account in EcoBank Broad Street, Lagos, where she had N1.5 million at the time he became governor.
    She also maintained an account in Coutts & Co Strand, London where she owned £450,000 and $125,000.
    She also had $3 million in Northern Trust International Banking Corporation Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner.
    Mrs. Saraki also maintained substantial shares in European and American Trading Company, Tyberry Corporation and EFICAZ Ltd.
    Other property the senate president listed against his wife’s name were a plot of land at Lekki valued at N5 million which he said was a gift he received in January 1989.
    She also had a property at 15 Bryanston Square, London W1 and 69 Bourne Street, London.
    While the first, whose rental income he put at £48,000 with a value of £900,000, was acquired in January 1989, the second, whose value was £2m and had rental value of £150,000 was acquired for business in April 2000.
    Mr. Saraki also declared that his wife held 500,000 shares, valued at £500,000, at P.C.C (U.K) Ltd.
    He was silent on the number of shares the former first lady had in HAUSSMANN and TINY TEE (Nig) Ltd.

    In APPENDIX 1 of the form, the senate president also detailed the property owned by his four children, whose names he gave as Tosin, Seni, Teniola and Teniayo.
    According to the document, Tosin had N700,000 in the family bank, Societe Generale Bank while Seni had N400,000 in the same family bank.
    Outside Nigeria, Tosin and Seni jointly maintained an account in Northern Trust International Banking Corporation Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner, where they had £400,000 while Teniola and Teniayo had £250,000 in the same bank at the time.
    In Coutts & Co. 440 Strand, London, Tosin and Seni had £1000 and £500, respectively.

    Saraki’s Case At Code of Conduct Bureau
    In what some interpreted as political persecution, Mr. Saraki was arraigned last month before the CCT for false declaration of assets seven years after he concluded his two terms as governor.
    In one of the 13-count charge, the senate president was accused of making anticipatory declaration of asset, thus breaching the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

    The charge reads, “That you, Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki, while being the Executive Governor of Kwara State on or about 16th September, 2003 within the jurisdiction of this Hon. Tribunal, did make a false declaration in assets declaration form for public officers on assumption of office as Governor of Kwara State by making an anticipatory asset declaration in that you claimed to have owned and acquired No. 15A and N0. 15B McDonald Ikoyi, Lagos through your company Carlisle Properties Limited in the year 2006 when the said property was in actual fact sold by the Implementation Committee on Federal Government landed property in the year 2006 to your companies Tiny Tee Limited and Vitti Oil Limited for the aggregate sum of N396, 150, 000 and you hereby committed an offence under Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and incorporated under Paragraph 11(1) and (2) of Part 1, 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and punishable under Section 23(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and incorporated under Paragraph 18 of part 1, 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

    Career History
    Mr. Saraki, a medical doctor, assumed office as governor on May 29, 2003.
    He served as medical officer for about one year at Rush Green Hospital, London between 1988 and 1989.
    He later served as Director of SGB, owned by his late father, Olusola, between 1990 and 2000. In 2000, former President Olusegun Obasanjo named him his special assistant on budget.
    He also served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee, where he had the task of formulating and implementation key economic policies for the country.
    In 2003, he ran for the office of governor of Kwara State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party and won.

    Societie Generale Bank, the bank in which he was director, became insolvent around the same time, with several depositors losing their savings.
    He was re-elected in 2007. During his second tenure, he served as chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
    Mr. Saraki later showed interest in running for president in 2011 but was excluded alongside two others from the presidential race by the Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders Forum, which picked a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, as its consensus candidate.
    That year, he was however elected into the Senate to represent Kwara Central senatorial District on the platform of the PDP.
    He was re-elected in 2015 on the platform of the APC. He had led some other PDP senators to defect to the party in early 2014.
    He emerged senate president on June 9 against the wishes of his party and some of its leading chieftains.

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