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#PanamaPapers: I Won’t Resign, Says Saraki

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Senate President Bukola Saraki on Friday vowed not  to succumb to calls for his resignation by Nigerians amid his corruption trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the revelations in Panama Papers.

Saraki, while responding to a Premium Times report on Friday, blamed politicians for the increasing calls for his resignation over his recent scandals.

A text message sent to the online medium by Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the Senate President would not yield to the growing pressure.

The statement said, “There’s a case in the Tribunal and a resultant appeal at the Court of Appeal.

“The underlining philosophy of our legal system is that an accused person is presumed innocent until found guilty.”

“Those who are contemplating calls for resignation want to circumvent the judicial system. They are obviously being sponsored by some politicians.

“The Senate President is not contemplating any resignation. He will surely have his day in court.”

Fresh documents published by the online medium had revealed that Saraki’s wife, Toyin, is a business front for her husband contrary to claims by the Senate President that the assets allegedly linked to him by the Panama Papers belonged to his wife’s family.

According to Premium Times, new documents it got from the database of the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, showed that assets in Toyin’s name in tax havens were held in trust for her husband.

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It was alleged that about four assets belonging to the Saraki family, which include Girol Properties Ltd., Sandon Development Limited, and Landfield International Developments Ltd., were tucked away in secret offshore territories.

For instance, the report stated that Girol Properties was registered on behalf of Toyin by Fonsecca on August 25, 2004, in the British Virgin Island, a year after her husband became the Governor of Kwara State.

But the assets were allegedly not part of the ones declared by the Senate President or Toyin when Saraki became governor and after he was sworn in as the nation’s number three citizen.

A German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, had earlier released the Panama Papers, publishing online 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, which showed how world leaders, celebrities, athletes, FIFA officials and criminals hid money using anonymous shell corporations across the world.

Saraki, while reacting to the report, had said that he was not obliged to declare under the law the assets allegedly linked to him because they belonged to the family of his wife.

However, fresh report by the online medium insists that that the assets actually belong to Saraki and not to Toyin or her family estate.

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