Kwara State House of Assembly yesterday said it has directed the revocation of a chalet gifted to a former governor of the state, Sen. Bukola Saraki, because the property belonged to the state government. The house, in a statement by spokesman to the speaker, Ibrahim Sherif, said the allocation of the property to Saraki by the Abdulfattah Ahmed administration was in violation of the Kwara State Former Governor’s Pension Law 2010.
The statement was a response to a report in one of the national dailies in which the government was accused of witch-hunting the Sarakis, especially the former Senate president.
The report had also claimed that the house’s resolution directing the government to reclaim the land on which the late Olusola Saraki erected his political headquarters, known as Ile Arugbo, was contrary to the promise of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of not witch-hunting anyone. But the House of Assembly said the Ile Arugbo had been erected on a land originally meant for the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic and Phase II of the State Government’s Secretariat. The statement reads in part: “We dare say that allowing impunity to stand, no matter who is affected and how long ago it had taken place, is a disservice to the state and its people. It would be a signal to those coming that impunity pays and would be allowed to stand. “The two developments upon which the article is based reek of impunity of the concerned party which the newspaper is apparently trying to protect for reasons not connected to the interest of Kwara and its people. “Apart from the fact that the purported sale of Alimi Chalet did not conform to the Kwara State Former Governors’ Pension Law 2010, as amended, which incidentally was the brainchild of Senator Bukola Saraki, we contend that there is no record anywhere that Senator Saraki paid a dime to have the property transferred to him. “The transfer only fits into what the late Fela Anikulapo called ‘paddy-paddy’ arrangement. Unfortunately, despite expositions made in the findings of the House Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development about the illegal acquisition of the Alimi Chalet, the publication only relied on comments by Senator Saraki’s sympathizers to form opinion of acclaimed due process in acquisition of the property. “We challenge the affected party to prove the contrary to not just the people of Kwara but to the entire world they are trying to instigate by presenting evidence of payment for the property. The pension law took adequate care of the former governor.”