The CUPS organisation started publishing damning reports about the financial crimes of the so-called Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki, on 6/8/2015. Our reports covered his criminality since his days as a director at Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC between 1990 and 2000. Our research shows that by the time that Mr. Saraki resigned his position at the bank, it was saddled with a debt worth N37 billion. Meanwhile a whopping N17 billion was withdrawn from the bank’s accounts and could not be accounted for.
The sudden collapse of Societe General Bank (Nigeria) PLC brought misery and destitution to hundreds of thousands of customers, most of whom lost their business capital, entire life savings, or both. Meanwhile due to manifest corruption by the previous regimes, Bukola Saraki was never tried for the financial crimes he committed at Societe General Bank (Nigeria) PLC.
Our research shows that Bukola Saraki owns dozens of properties in the UK and in Nigeria, worth billions. During our investigation, we focused on a 6 bedroom mansion he bought just shortly after he resigned his position at Societe General Bank (Nigeria) PLC. On 29/11/2001 he bought the mansion at 70 Bourne Street, London SW1W 8JW, for £4,250,000. This property is now worth £13,565,000 (N4,069,500,000), according to UK Estate Agents, Zoopla.
CUPS managed to obtain an extract of the title deed of this property from the UK Land Registry, Croydon Office. For the first time ever, the extract is being released to public domain. It proves the following important points, and can be downloaded here: Bukola Saraki London Mansion
1. There is indeed a 6 bedroom mansion based at 70 Bourne Street, London SW1W 8JW.
2. The Title number for the mansion is NGL805616.
3. This mansion was purchased on 29/11/2001.
4. The purchasing price for the mansion was £4,250,000.
5. No debt, mortgage, or any form of loan is associated with the current ownership of the mansion.
6. Mr. Bukol Saraki is the SOLE owner of the mansion.
Put aside his financial crimes as two times governor of Kwara state, the financial scandal at Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC in association with the purchase of this mansion alone is enough to disqualify Mr. Bukola Saraki from being a Senate President, let alone being the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is an open secret that this Mafia kingpin harbours a dangerous ambition of being Nigeria’s next head of state, by whatever means necessary. He should be serving his time in jail instead.
Another pertinent question that only Mr. Bukola Saraki himself can adequately answer; has he declared these multi-billion Naira assets that he owns in the UK with the Code of Conduct Bureau? We very much doubt that. This again is a criminal offence, and it automatically disqualifies him as being a Senator or Senate President.
Nigerians need patriotic leaders with clear vision and mission, who have the capacity to rebuild the country and make her attain her full potential as one of the greatest countries on the planet. For all intent and purpose, we don’t need manifestly corrupt and greedy criminal gangsters like Mr. Bukola Saraki and their ilk, in our polity. This man is morally bankrupt and spiritually dilapidated.
The continued presence of Bukola Saraki at the Senate is a security risk to the Nigerian state. This man became the Senate President under the most dubious of circumstances. He and his supporters used Mafia style tactics to pervert due process at the Senate before he became its President. This case is still pending in Court.
We at CUPS believe that this clinically corrupt man will continue to abuse his position as Senate President to undermine the ongoing national crusade against corruption. The onus is therefore on all well meaning Nigerians to put hands on deck and see to it that he is removed from our Senate without delay.
May God save Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen.
Dr. Idris Ahmed.
CUPS (Citizens United for Peace and Stability)
We are compelled to write you yet again on matters of national importance. Very senior staff at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have contacted us, raising alarm about ongoing massive corruption in the commission, which has since almost crippled its operations.
It can be recalled that NIMC was established by an act of Parliament (Act No. 23 of 2007), with the sole aim of fostering the orderly development of an Identity Sector, and building a modern Identity Management System for Nigeria. Some of the objectives of the organisation includes the following:(a) Create, operate, and manage a secure, sustainable National Identity Database for Nigeria; (b) Build and manage an Identity Authentication and Verification Service Infrastructure for Nigeria; (c) Establish Permanent Registration Centres across the country to enroll every Nigerian and legal resident at his/her convenience; and (d) Issue a chip based, highly secure and user friendly multi-application Smart Card to facilitate online/offline identity authentication and verification.
Your Excellency, the aim and objectives of NIMC outlined above are clearly commendable, and immensely beneficial to a modern economy. As the largest economy and the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria needs Smart Card Identity System for its citizenry for many reasons. Some of the benefits include the following: get accurate measure of citizens population in the country; assist the federal government in strategic planning; assist in mapping out the population demography; help federal, state, and local governments to target development to desired areas of interest based on population density; assist local and foreign donor agencies to channel aid effectively; assist authorities to effectively dispatch aid during emergency; help combat crimes; help combat terrorism
Despite the excellent benefits of the NIMC outlined above, we regret to inform his Excellency that this commission is a shambolic white elephant. It is saddled with grandeur corruption running into billions of Naira. As discovered by our investigation, during which we received input from many NIMC staff, corruption at the highest management level is endemic. We hereby outline some of the corruption charges raised.
1. The current Director General, Barrister Chris Onyemenam, has spent over N50 billion of the commission’s money with nothing tangible to show for. Only a paltry 2 million ID cards have been issued since 2007. Similarly, the National Identity Database is a sham. It contains no more than 10 million records, out of a potential 180 million. Besides the DG and his senior colleagues, nobody can tell exactly where the bulk of the N50 billion went to.
2. Without proper feasibility studies of the security implications, without due consultation with Nigerian security apparatus, and without due process of bidding, the current DG commercialised the National Identity Database. He single handedly entered into a commercial agreement with MasterCard, which enables the National ID Card to operate as a Credit Card. Your Excellency, the security and commercial implication of this mistake are enormous.
3. We have obtained the NIMC bank account detail showing that at least N400 million has been squandered in the so called National Agricultural Payment Initiative (NAPI). The N400 was paid to Cellulant Nigeria Ltd. Cellulant is a mobile e-commerce and content management company. It manages, delivers, and bills digital content over mobile telephone network. On 22/7/2015, a whopping N200 million was transferred from NIMC Zenith Bank account to Cellulant. See attached bank statement. The NAPI contract between NIMC and Cellulant is unlawful. It was done devoid due process of law. There was no proper advertisement for tender, no proper bidding process, and no proper screening exercise that determined the final winner of such a significant contract. Everything was shrouded in secrecy.
4. Your Excellency, there is also another ongoing scandalous contract between NIMC and a shadowy company called IFY EZE NIGERIA LTD, of no specific address. Without due process of advertisement, bidding for tender, and screening, this company was awarded the contract to supply NIMC with diesel to fuel its generators. Even though the highest cost of 1 litre of diesel is N150 in the market, IFY EZE is allowed to supply diesel to NIMC at the extortionist cost of N250 per litre. On 25/7/2015, the sum of N43,321,759.42 and N6,678,240.58 were transferred from NIMC Zenith Bank Account to IFY EZE. See attached bank statement.
5. Since 2012, the current DG has spent over N50 million supposedly trying to connect the NIMC offices with the national grid. Up until the time of wring this report, this project has not been implemented. Instead of prioratising the connection of NIMC offices to the national grid to save money, N50 million has been wasted with no results. And at least another N50,000,000 (N43,321,759.42 + N6,678,240.58) has wastefully being paid to shadowy IFY EZE NIGERIA LTD to supply diesel at exorbitant price per litre.
6. Your Excellency, even the staff at NIMC are not safe from the treachery of their DG. On 18/8/2013 he sacked 3,099 staff under the pretext that they did not have degree qualifications. Not long after that, some more unfortunate staff were unlawfully laid off. These unlawful acts were supported by the then Labour Minister, John Wagu, who we learnt benefited from the illicit lay-off operations. Despite being ordered by the 7th National Assembly to settle the benefits of the sacked employees, none of them is settled as of the time of writing this report.
CUPS Recommendations to his Excellency:
1. Your Excellency, we contend that it is inimical to national interest to renew the contract of NIMC DG, Mr. Barrister Chris Onyemenam. He has demonstrated propensity towards corruption, he is clearly incompetent, and is therefore not fit for purpose. He has already served two successive terms of 4 years each, and had his contract unlawfully extended by another one year by the then Secretary to the Federal Government, Pius Anyim Pius.
2. All contracts entered into between NIMC and other parties since 2007 should immediately be canceled and thoroughly investigated, as they were done without due process of law.
3. The commercial partnering with MasterCard is inimical to Nigeria’s commercial and security interests. We contend that it is dangerous to commercialise the National Identity Database in this way. Therefore we advise his Excellency to terminate this senseless contract with immediate effect.
4. The new employees hired by the DG after the unlawful sacking of over 3,099 staff are mainly people with even less qualifications. They were employed only as favours to friends and family. They should be screened and retained only on merit.
5. The over 3,099 employees unlawfully sacked by the DG, whose benefits have still not been paid, should be settled by the Federal Government to ease suffering on them and their families.
6. The National Identity Management Commission and the National Population Commission are serving very similar functions. Billions of Naira could be saved annually in overhead costs by simply merging the two commissions.
Your Excellency, may God save Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen.
Dr. Idris Ahmed.
(President and Founder of CUPS).
Mobile Phones: +447448649282, +447539288602
Office Phone: +442476430470
Over the past week, the CUPS organisation was called upon to investigate a very unfortunate situation involving IDPs from the North held at a dubious missionary facility in Benin. Following our investigation, we can reliably inform the public that the so called International Christian Church For Mission (ICCFM) is abusing the Holy name of Jesus Christ to commit financial exploitation and human trafficking, using 1,300 IDPs from the North. We discovered that most of the IDPs are children.
Please note that this is NOT about Christians against Muslims, Christianity against Islam or South-South against North East. In fact this has nothing to do with tribe or any true religion at all! This is just criminality committed by a dubious group of individuals masquerading as a faith based NGO.
Find attached for downloading is an Open Letter CUPS wrote to his Excellency, PMB, over this sordid matter. In this letter, we have asked the Federal Government to take away the children back to appropriate IDP centres in the North, but through amicable diplomatic ways. We advised against the use of force. CUPS Letter to PMB 13-8-2015
The CUPS organisation recently exposed how the so called Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki, with the help of his late father defrauded Nigerians billions of Naira. Both Bukola and his late dad, Olusola abused their positions as directors at the defunct Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC, and carted away investors’ money worth billions of Naira. Meanwhile Bukola himself also abused his position as Executive governor of Kwara state between May 2003 and April 2011 and stole billions.
We further exposed how Mr. Bukola bought several prime properties in London at the same time that the Societe General Bank (Nigeria) PLC was collapsing and the people of Kwara state were suffering through mis-governance.
Despite his colossal accrued wealth, Mr. Bukola is currently earning a total package of N353,756,988.00 every year in his job as a Senator. This amount will even go up as he enjoys more perks that go with his dubious appointment as Senate President. Meanwhile an average Nigerian on minimum wage earns N216,000.00 a year! It will take the average Nigerian earning minimum wage a whopping 1,638 years to earn the annual salary of a Nigerian Senator!
This disparity in wages is a grotesque injustice that all well meaning Nigerians must fight to stop! Despite his colossal personal wealth and the millions he earns a year as a Senator, Mr. Bukola is also engaged in a disgraceful scheme that is defrauding the people of Kwara state millions every year. Today we re-visit the scandal of how on 29/12/2010 Mr. Bukola in connivance with some corrupt Kwara state House of Assembly members passed into law, a manifestly corrupt scheme that guaranteed him a multi-million pension for life. The pension scheme guarantees him the following benefits for life:
1. Accommodation: (i) One residential house each fore the governor and deputy at any location of their choice in Kwara state; (ii) One residential house in the federal capital territory of the governor on two consecutive terms.
2. Annual Vacation: (iii) 30 days annual vacation outside Nigeria with 30 days estacodes and travel allowances for the governor.
3. Transport: Travel expenses allowances for the governor. (a) Three cars for the governor and in addition one pilot and two backup cars to be replaced every three years en bloc.
4. Furniture: Payable every two years en bloc.
5. Domestic staff: Cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff who shall be pensionable.
6. Medical: Free medical treatment for the governor and deputy governor and members of their immediate families.
7. Security: To be provided as listed below: Two SSS details for the governor and one female officer one SSS detail for the deputy governor. Eight policemen (one each for house and personal security) for the governor. Two policemen (one each for house and personal security) for the deputy governor.
8. Drivers: Pensionable.
With this kind of Mafia like criminal gangster sitting as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we will never be able to fight corruption, which has since become a cancer that is killing us. The patriotic efforts made by his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, to eradicate corruption once and for all will be systematically undermined from behind the scenes by people like Mr. Bukola. Worse still, Mr. Bukola is harbouring a treacherous ambition to be Nigeria’s next head of state, by whatever means necessary.
If Nigerian’s ignore our warnings, this criminal gangster will not hesitate to use the stolen wealth at his disposal to achieve this aim. God forbid bad things, with Mr. Bukola as Nigeria’s head of state, we may witness worse days than we did during the era of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The CUPS organisation has obtained an exclusive highly confidential report prepared for the former President Goodluck Jonathan about the financial criminality of Mr. Bukola Saraki during his tenure as a Director of Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC in 1990-2000. The report also covered the period he was elected as the Executive Governor of Kwara State during 2003 – 2011.
Brief history: Mr. Bukola Saraki was born as Olubukola Adebisi Olabowale Saraki on 19/12/1962 at Hampstead North, Metropolitan Bourough of Hampstead, United Kingdom. He worked as a Medical Officer at Rush Green Hospital, Essex in 1988-1989. He was a Director of Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC in 1990-2000. He was appointed Special Assistant to the President on Budget in 2000. He became the Executive Governor of Kwara state between 2003 and 2011. In April 2011 he was elected a Senator representing Kwara Central senatorial district. He was re-elected in March 2015 for another 4 years term.
1. Saraki’s financial crimes at the Societe General Bank PLC:
The Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC was sent out of the clearing house in June 2003. By early 2004, the bank and its top management were accused of involvement in a Thirty-Seven Billion Naira (N37 Billion) fraud. The bank was unable to account for Seventeen Billion Naira (N17 Billion) alleged to have been overdrawn from its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Following the total collapse of the Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC, on March 20, 2003, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were drafted to investigate some allegations of fraud at the bank, perpetrated by the Saraki family. Dr. Olusola Saraki, his wife, Florence, son, Bukola Saraki, and 9 other shareholders were dragged to the NDLEA after being accused of using depositors’ funds to buy shares at the bank, contrary to the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act. Investigations revealed that the presidency intervened and the case never saw the light of the day. The money, which amounted to billions of Naira, was moved from several bank branches in bullion vans. There are no records of these transactions.
Dr. Olusola Saraki (Bukola Saraki’s father) and co-defendants were accused of using depositors’ funds to buy shares at the ailing Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC, contrary to the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Acts (BOFIA). The case never saw the light of the day. The money, which amounted to billions of Naira, was moved from several bank branches in bullion vans. There are no records of these transactions.
In one of the court cases filed by the EFCC at the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court it was alleged that Dr. Olusola Saraki, while being a Director at Societe General Bank PLC between 2002 and 2003 had recklessly approved the grant of loan in the sum of N210,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Ten Million Naira) on no less than five different occasions to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kwara State Chapter, with no collateral. This is in contravention of Societe Generale’s regulation, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(1)(a) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act.
In one of the cases filed by the EFCC against Dr. Olusola Saraki at the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, it was alleged that between 2002 and 2003 while working as Director at Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC, he transferred the sum of $35,000,000.00 (N7 Billion) from United Kingdom to Nigeria without reporting the transaction to the Central Bank. This contravenes Section 15(2) (a) of the Money Laundering Act.
2. Saraki’s financial crimes as Kwara state Governor:
Mr. Bukola Saraki was governor of Kwara state between May 2003 and April 2011. Among other things, he mismanaged about N65 billion which accrued to Kwara state from the federation account between April 2003 and June 2008. “The total money from Federation Account meant for the 16 Kwara local governments between April 2003 to June 2005 is about N65 billion. While Baruten, IIorin West, Offa and Oyun were supposed to be given (out of it) a sum of not less than N5 billion, N5.7 billion, N3.4 billion and N3.1billiona respectively. But after a survey by team of expert builders, economists, engineers and others, that covered the entire 16 local government council areas, it has been discovered that in each of these local governments, no serious project worth an amount of N1.5 billion took place between this period. This shows that about N40 billion meant for local governments development was diverted elsewhere and for the four local governments mentioned above, there are no traces of development that could match up to the colossal amount of the local government revenue.
Between the years 1999-2003 which happened to be the most critical period in the life of the Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC, Bukola Saraki acquired 15 luxurious cars, which included a Ferrari. He and his wife, Toyin, also purchased houses in London worth 10 million pounds. On 29 November 2001, Bukola Saraki bought a mansion in London for Four Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds (£4,250,000.00). The house which has deed title number NGL805616, is located at 70 Bourne Street, London SW1W 8JW. The lease hold on the property was registered on 9 January 2002 with the land registry, Harrow Office.
The above mentioned property was reportedly bought with a loan from Fortis Bank, SA-NV. The house now has a free hold. It is a story structure. The house is not far from Buckingham Palace road. Toyin Saraki, the wife had previously bought number 69 Bourne Street in 2000 for two million pounds. In 2002, the former Governor also bought Number 53 Ashley Gardens for 4 million pounds. He used a front company known as “Ashley Gardens limited.”
Apart from his U.K properties, Bukola Saraki owns several properties in Nigeria worth several millions of Naira including a N700 million house in Victoria Island fetching him N96 million rents annually. Friends and associates of the former Governor have posited that he was in the private sector when he bought his London property. He was the Vice Chairman of Societe General Bank at that time. Those who believe that while the bank was experiencing financial problems, he as an executive of the bank was acquiring a multi-million pound home, was wholly wrong.
The activities of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC), the body that managed the local government areas in Kwara State for a while also says a lot about Governor Saraki’s leadership style. Investigation found out that in May 2003, when the Saraki led government came into office, he appointed transition committees to run the affairs of the 16 local councils. In the first six months, the most senior civil servants in the councils called Director of Personnel Management (DPM) ran the councils.
They were given a little part of council allocation to cover salaries. In the second six months, caretaker committees were appointed by the state government. They too had no access to council allocation. They were given enough to cover salaries and emoluments and N200,000 per month for running expenses. The total accrual to all the local governments for the 12 months came to N7.9 billion (N7 Billion, N843 Million and N364,000 naira).
That simply implies that the TIC hardly exhausted a quarter of their accrual. But till today, the balance has not been accounted for. A company called OlaKleen, which is owned by the Governor’s younger brother, Olaolu Saraki, is the consultant to the state’s project named “Operation Keep Kwara Clean”. Although OlaKleen is only working in the state capital, llorin, the 16 local councils are made to pay for its service, coughing out about N14 Million every month. When asked, one of the Chairmen said “In my local government, I employed my own cleaners whom I pay N5,000 in salary on a monthly basis. I had 30 cleaners, yet I was still compelled to pay N960, 000 a month to OlaKleen, when they were neither working for me nor operating in my local government.”
A 2001 law stipulated that 2.5 per cent of council allocation should go to the traditional councils. The Saraki government raised it to 4 percent. Pointing out what he called arm-twisting, a former Chairman of Edu Local Government said “My local government has three traditional rulers: Emir of Lafiagi, Emir of Saragi and Emir of Shonga. Lafiagi’s salary is N80,000, the other two N50,000 each, making it a total of N180, 000.
So if I have N70 Million allocation, 4 percent of it, about N3 million is taken from me to pay a salary of N180,000. In addition, the monthly miscellaneous expenses of these traditional rulers are the burden of the local government. If they are sick or traveling or having ceremonies, we pick the bills.” For years now, the state government has not accounted for the proceeds of this deduction from the joint account domiciled at Intercontinental Bank along Wahab Folawiyo Road, IIorin. The account number of this joint project is 0029253979001.
All the sixteen local governments were forced to pay certain amount of the net allocation accruing to them, understanding that the state will also pay a certain percentage of its allocation. It was gathered that while the local governments have been loyal to the agreement the state government is yet to fulfill its own side of the bargain. Apart from the gross deduction the 16 local governments have lost about N5b to this arm-twisting in the name of joint capital project.
The signatories to the account are the state Accountant General and the Deputy Director of Treasury, none of the local government chairmen is a signatory. It was also gathered that Chief Olusala Saraki’s close affinity with former President Obasanjo coupled with the influence wielded by Bukola Saraki in the Yar’Adua days made it impossible for the EFCC to bring either of them to book. Investigations carried out revealed that the Kwara State Governor was largely instrumental to the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri as the EFCC Chairman (former).
Sources in the EFCC revealed that after her retirement, Mrs. Waziri was one of those who lobbied the EFCC hierarchy to stop the investigation of the Saraki dynasty. EFCC investigators were at the time digging into how the Sarakis looted the Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria) PLC. Mrs. Waziri, who was close to several EFCC officials, used her leverage to stop further investigations and the planned prosecution of the Saraki family, including the governor whose questionable wealth in Nigeria and the United Kingdom grew bigger just as the fortunes of the family bank, in which he was the Executive Director, completely deteriorated, and finally collapsed.
What has been revealed in this document is just a tip of the iceberg. We at CUPS will continue exposing the financial and political crimes committed by this criminal gangster, until he is forced out of the Senate. Nigeria cannot afford having a Mafia kingpin as its number three citizen, while his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice-President, Profesor Yemi Osinbajo, are clean leaders with impeccable records on fighting corruption.
Mr. Bukola Saraki became Senate President through a socially engineered process that was manifestly corrupt and is already being prosecuted. We contend that Mr. Saraki will continue to abuse his power as Senate President to undermine the determination of his Excellency to fight corruption, which is killing Nigeria and Nigerians. Consequently, all the historic gains we secured by voting his Excellency on 28th March 2015 may come to nothing, if care is not taken. Knowing what we know, we further contend that Mr. Saraki poses a significant threat to Nigeria’s national security. He harbours a calamitous ambition to be Nigeria’s next President, come what may!