This is Abubakar Bukola Saraki

Bukola SarakiOn 29 November 2001, Bukola Saraki bought a big mansion in London for four million, two hundred and fifty thousand pounds (£4,250,000.00). The house with title number, NGL805616, is located on 70 Bourne Street, London SW1W 8JW

This is Abubakar Bukola Saraki M.B, B.S (London)
He’s only 48 years old.

Bukola has been governor of Kwara State, Nigeria since 29 May 2003. He is a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was a former vice chairman of Societe Generale Bank.His father, Olusola Saraki, is a former senator of Kwara State.

His sister, Gbemisola Saraki-Forowa, also holds high political office in Kwara as a senator (Kwara Central district).

He worked as a Medical Officer at Rush Green Hospital, Essex from 1988-1989. He was a Director of Societe Generale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990-2000. He was appointed special assistant to the President on Budget in 2000.

Dr. Bukola Saraki was elected the Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2003. He replaced his father’s former political godson, Mohammed Lawal. The later had fallen out with Bukola’s father, and therefore, had to be shown the door. With the active support and some say connivance of the presidency, Dr. Saraki was installed as the Governor of Kwara State.

By the time Bukola became Governor of Kwara State, he had attained the position of Vice Chairman at the defunct Societe Generale bank. While it may be a stretch to say that the bank collapsed under his stewardship, some argue that his family’s influence on the bank at the turn of the new century marked the beginning of the end of the bank.

About 10 months after the younger Saraki was elected Governor of Kwara State, the House of Representatives summoned then Central Bank Governor Joseph Sanusi to explain how Societe General Bank overdrew its capital base by eleven billion Naira (11bn) The then Central Bank of Nigeria Governor was issued an order on 3 March 2004 which gave him only seven days to give a satisfactory explanation regarding the bank’s activities. Curiously, no director of the bank was summoned by the House.

On 29 November 2001, Bukola Saraki bought a big mansion in London for four million, two hundred and fifty thousand pounds (£4,250,000.00). The house with title number, NGL805616, is located on 70 Bourne Street, London SW1W 8JW. The lease hold on the property was registered on 9 January 2002 with the land registry, Harrow Office. It was initially bought with a loan from Fortis Bank, SA-NV. The house has had a free hold as at 2005.

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 SGBN perpetrated by the Saraki family. Dr. Olusola Saraki, his wife, Florence, son, Bukola, and 9 other shareholders were dragged to the NDLEA on allegations of money laundering.

They were accused of using depositors’ funds to buy shares at the ailing Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, contrary to the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Acts (BOFIA). There were reports 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.

The Societe Generale Bank 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(37bn) fraud. According to a report in businessdayonline, the bank was unable to account for seventeen billion naira(17bn) alleged to have been overdrawn from its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

People outside the political cycles in Abuja have wondered why nobody from the Saraki clan has been brought to book following the malfeasance at the Societe Generale Bank.

In 2006, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, appeared before the Nigerian Senate to report on the activities of his Commission, especially concerning corruption. He informed the Senate that 31 out of 36 Nigerian State Governors were being investigated or had sundry allegations of corruption hanging around their necks. One of the five governors that got a clean bill of health was Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

A former senator himself,Dr. Olusola Saraki(the older Saraki)-fondly called ‘Oloye’ by ex-President Obasanjo-has managed the unprecedented feat of installing his son as Governor of Kwara Sate while simultaneously securing a seat in the Senate for his daughter,Gbemisola Saraki.

Bukola’s sister,Gbemisola Ruqqayat Saraki has been serving in the national assembly since 1999.She served one term in the house of reps,and is now nearing the end of her second term in the senate.

Gbemi has now declared her intention to run for Kwara state governor to succeed her brother in 2011.

by Bayonle Charles Ayanleke