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Saraki denies involvement in alleged N10bn fraud with Dogara, Adeosun

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Saraki denies involvement in alleged N10bn fraud with Dogara, Adeosun

President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has described as fake news, a report of his involvement in an alleged N10 billion fraud.

An online portal, Premium Times had in an exclusive report on Friday, accused Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, of colluding to perpetrate the fraud.

The report read in part, that “Nigerian taxpayers need to know this. Their representatives at the National Assembly, led by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have just illegally received and shared a hefty N10billion from the national treasury.

“The money is not part of the obscene N125 billion appropriated for the federal legislature in the 2017 fiscal year for recurrent and capital expenditures.”

But in a statement entitled, “Response to false publication from online platform” released through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity later on Friday, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki denied having anything to do with any payment, receipt or disbursement of any extra-budgetary funds.

Part of the statement read, “Again, our attention has been drawn to a publication by an online platform, which unethically alleges without any proof, reference, attribution or justification that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was involved in receiving or sharing any unauthorized funds.

“The article, entitled ‘EXCLUSIVE: Minister Adeosun, Saraki, Dogara, Accountant General in N10 billion fraud scandal’, in its style, substance, and deliberate spin struggles to connect the Senate President to the receipt and apportioning of funds which the publication describes as ‘illegal.’

“In the absence of any doubt, the Senate President 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 Online article in question is pure and unmitigated false news. A simple check by this media 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.

READ ALSO : Unlike Jonathan’s govt, Buhari doesn’t steal – Osinbajo

“Additionally, all contract awards are equally overseen by the National Assembly management, not the presiding officers.
We are aware that for some weeks now, this Online platform 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 and Publicity to the Senate President, promised to give them all necessary explanation and documents on this issue.

“However, it is obvious that in the bid to rope in Senator Saraki, the reporters of this online media platform could not wait to see the cerk and rushed to publish the story less than 24 hours after the clerk made the aforementioned promise — with outright falsehood.”

The statement further said that the lawyers of the Senate president will be initiating legal action on matter, and called on Nigerians to disregard the report as it was “fake news.”

 

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