President Muhammad Buhari has received concrete evidence that his Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari, took N500m from operators of MTN to help the telecommunications giant mitigate the fine imposed on it by the federal government, SaharaReporters has learned.
Sources say the evidence was presented to President Buhari several times including during the Sallah holiday.
The mind-boggling revelation is the latest in the mounting allegations of corruption involving members of the top echelon of President Buhari’s administration.
Confronted with the evidence, the CoS reportedly claimed he was helping the All Progressives Congress party raise funds for the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, to which the president is said to have asked him if he was the party chairman, but did not relieve him of his post.
SaharaReporters has previously revealed several corrupt actions of the Chief of Staff. They include taking money from Jide Omokore, a shady businessman who was massively involved in corruption in the oil sector in the preceding administration.
Following acceptance of the money, Mr. Kyari reportedly took Mr. Omokore twice to meet President Buhari to enable the businessman to make a promise to refund some of the funds. A source told Saharareporters Omokore promised to refund N500 million
When Omokore was eventually arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the CoS reportedly told President Buhari that it was the EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, who had bungled progress concerning Omokore. SaharaReporters has also previously reported that Mr. Kyari wants to remove Magu from the anti-graft body in favor of a candidate who is more amenable to his wishes.
On his part, Omokore is also known to have bribed the judge handling the case with $2million. He was released on bail without leaving the court premises.
Other members of President Buhari’s inner circle have been exposed as engaging in serious cases of corruption but the President has not acted on their cases, either. In some instances, they reportedly got members of President Buhari’s office to absolve them of any “wrongdoing”.
The Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai, was found to have used Nigerian Army funds to purchase homes in Dubai;
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Dambazau, bought homes for millions of dollars in Boston in the United States;
Several other aides and officials within the government have been exposed for involvement in illegal employments and forgery of age and certificates.
As in the case of Mr. Kyari, they have so far all been shielded by President Buhari. Speaking earlier this to journalists in Daura, his hometown, the president said his “anti-corruption war” was being implemented on the basis of justice and fairness.