Saturday, August 25, 2007
Turaki and the mark of Zorro
Embattled former Governor Saminu Turaki facing trial for fleecing over N33 Billion belonging to Jigawa State, North of Nigeria is at it again. This time, the Obasanjo third term campaigner is alleged to have stolen Burkina Faso diplomatic passport with No. 01007812.
Turaki, in a sworn affidavit deposed at the Federal High Court Abuja had declared “That international passport No. 01007812 issued by the government of Burkina Faso is a diplomatic passport which was issued to me as a gesture when escorting the President of the country on a presidential visit to another country.
But when Pointblanknews.com contacted Burkina Faso, an official in the office of President Blaise Campaore denied that the country issued out any diplomatic passport to any Nigerian former Governor.
The official at the Burkina Faso presidency who simply identified herself as Ms. Basole told Pointblanknews.com that as a policy, the country does not issue out any of its passports to foreigners.
“We don’t issue diplomatic passport to non-citizen of Burkina Faso. Passports are for Burkina Faso citizens and diplomatic passports are for some Government officials whose duties require one. We don’t know where he got it from.”
Asked whether the President might have authorized the issuance of the passport, Ms. Bisole said, “sir before your second call, I had confirmed from our President and the immigration office and they did not issue any passport to such person in Nigeria. Maybe he got it from another source but not here.”
The official also denied knowledge of seeing Turaki with President Campaore saying, “I cannot remember such name traveling with our President. I have been in this office for many years and I travel with the President most times and I know those who had traveled with him so I don’t think I have seen that name.”
Turaki was arraigned before a Federal High Court on July 24 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for looting N33bn belonging to Jigawa State. He has since been granted bail.