Kwara State Senator Bukola Saraki is no longer a wanted man as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday voided the police warrant for his arrest in connection to a N21 billion scandal.
The decision by the Abuja High Court sets aside the earlier order issued by the Federal High Court in Lagos giving police authorities the permission to interrogate the former Kwara state governor in their investigations.
Saraki was initially summoned to face an inquiry in the investigations of the N21 billion loan scam from the now defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, which Saraki illicitly obtained through Joy Petroleum, a company owned by his former aide, Matthew Obahor.
The beleaguered Senator sought refuge in Abuja and found it there. The presiding judge on Wednesday, Justice Gladys Olotu said the steps taken by police were not in accordance with due process and dismissed claims that the former state governor was a flight risk.
The presiding judge said only the court had the right to decide whether Police could arrest Saraki or not.
Earlier counsel to the IGP, Femi Falana, argued that the police was forced to declare Saraki a wanted man and pursue his arrest after receiving intelligence reports that former governor was about to flee the country much in the same manner that Ibori did.
Mr Falana’s counter argument followed a submission by Saraki’s lawyer, Lawal Rabana, describing the police officers’ handling of the matter, declaring his client wanted and seeking a warrant for his arrest from another court, was done to undermine the authority of the Abuja court.
While the court ruled in favor of Saraki on Wednesday, it hardly means the Kwara state senator is in the clear.
According to Mr Falana, “the plaintiff had since reported at the Force Headquarters where he was grilled over the crime and had written statements. His wife had also reported and both were accorded with respect befitting a former governor and serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.