Former Jigawa Governor Arrested In Abuja Over N36b Money Laundering Charges

Former Jigawa Governor Arrested In Abuja Over N36b Money Laundering Charges

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday arrested Saminu Turaki, former governor of Jigawa state.

Turaki, who  also was a senator between 2007 and 2011, “has continuously evaded appearance in court,” EFCC insists.

In 2004 the Niger Republic, which was due to host a summit of Francophone countries in Niamey gave Wallong Camco Nigeria, a company in which Turaki had an interest, free land in exchange for building 86 housing units to accommodate visiting foreign dignitaries. In November 2008 Turaki was involved in a dispute over contract terms for sale of these units.

Called ‘Turaki Villa’, Turaki built it in 2005 while serving his second term as governor of Jigawa State, a state dubbed as the poorest in Nigeria.

A 2006 report said he was involved in acquiring companies in Nigeria’s insurance industry for president Olusegun Obasanjo.

In July 2007 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Saminu Turaki over allegations of corruption and money laundering.Turaki faced a 32-count charge of money laundering, and was said to have laundered about N36 billion of public funds into private accounts. He was released on bail with stringent conditions.

In June 2003 Ibrahim Turaki said Jigawa had entered into agreements with American companies to start processing and exporting high-grade gum arabic to the United States, replacing imports from the Sudan. Per Second News gathered that the arrangement was with Washington based Rosa Whitaker, a former US Trade Representative for Africa, with whom he formed a Trade and Investment Foundation for Africa to attract Foreign Direct Investment for gum arabic production.

He is known to have business interests and properties in the State of Maryland in the U.S and South Africa.