The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has launched a manhunt for a former Governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki, who is standing trial for allegedly stealing N36bn when he was governor of the state from 1999 to 2007.
To this end, operatives on Wednesday night stormed his home located at 16 Dennis Osadebe Street, Aso Villa, Abuja. However, only members of his family were present as the ex-governor was nowhere to be found.
Turaki had also been accused in court of using N12bn out of the N36bn to fund former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s failed third term bid in 2006.
Impeccable sources at the EFCC said that operatives went to the house in a bid to execute an arrest warrant for Turaki who had failed to present himself for trial since 2011 when he was arraigned on 36 counts at the Federal High Court in Dutse, Jigawa State.
It will be recalled that the court had issued a warrant directing the Inspector-General of Police or his officers and the EFCC to arrest Turaki and bring him before the court.
Justice S. Yahuza gave the order after Turaki failed to appear before the court.
The EFCC had previously declared him wanted.
A source at the anti-graft agency said, “We stormed the former governor’s home around 7pm but we missed the former governor as only a few members of his family were found in the house. The operatives went to the house in a bid to execute a warrant for the arrest of the former governor who had refused to present himself for trial since 2011 when he was rearranged on 36 counts at the Federal High Court Dutse, Jigawa State.”
The source said Turaki, who was also a member of the Senate from 2007 to 2011, had been on the watchlist of the EFCC for several months but had continued to evade arrest.
He was first arraigned by the EFCC before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in 2007 on 32 counts of misappropriating N36bn while he was governor. The case was later transferred to the Federal High Court, Dutse after he challenged the jurisdiction of the FCT court.