Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has denied sharing N10billion removed from the Federation Account illegally with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. An online newspaper had reported that the duo “have just illegally received and shared N10billion from the national treasury.”
It further alleged that the money was “arbitrarily and illegally approved for the lawmakers by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, in collusion with the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.”
But Saraki in a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu described the report entitled ‘Minister Adeosun, Saraki, Dogara, Accountant General in N10 billion fraud scandal’ as fake news. He said in the absence of any doubt, Saraki has nothing to do with any payment, receipt or disbursement of any extra-budgetary funds.
“It is also important to state for the record that the Premium Times article in question is pure and unmitigated false news. A simple check would have revealed that all funds in the National Assembly are in the custody of the National Assembly Management, which is headed by the Clerk, and not its Presiding Officers.
“Additionally, all contract awards are equally overseen by the National Assembly management, not the Presiding Officers,” the statement added.
Olaniyonu also added:”We are aware that for some weeks now, Premium Times has had this story. However, they only contacted us on Wednesday, and the Clerk of the National Assembly, after a phone call from the Special Adviser on Media & Publicity to the President of the Senate, promised to give them all necessary explanation and documents on this issue.”
The media aide said: “It is obvious that in the bid to rope in Senator Saraki, the reporters of Premium Times could not wait to see the Clerk and rushed to publish the story with outright falsehood. It is expected, that the Editors of Premium Times will not be ignorant of the internal procurement and payment process in an organization like the National Assembly that they have covered and “investigated” for as long as they have been in existence,” he said.
He said they consider the report as part of the orchestrated campaign of calumny being waged against Dr Saraki by some political elements using media platforms in which they have interests.
“In this regard, for this careless and unwarranted assault on the person of the President of the Senate, after several previous warnings, the lawyers of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will be initiating legal action on this particular matter,” the statement said.