NIGERIA: Saraki Denies Involvement In N19 Billion Paris Club Loan Refund

The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has denied any involvement with the Paris Club refund.

A statement issued on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stressed that Saraki had no business with the refund as alleged.
Reacting to a recent publication allegedly leaked by the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, Olaniyonu stressed that the allegations against Saraki were false.
He said Saraki had no business with the payment of the fund to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum as alleged by the leaked report, adding that Magu was just “mudslinging”.
The statement said: “Let us first state that these allegations are not new.
“The EFCC had from the onset of its investigation into the Paris Club refund made attempts to drag in the name of Dr. Saraki and we have promptly denied any such involvement of the Senate President.
“In fact, the EFCC itself came out to deny the report as it then said it had nothing to indict the Senate President.
“The anti-graft agency said the investigation was still on-going then. Yet, as at that time it had all these information it is now dishing out.
“It is obvious that at this point when Mr. Magu believes the Senate President should be blamed for his failure to secure confirmation as Chairman of EFCC by the Senate, he would want to fight back by cooking up reports and masterminding its leakage.
“We maintain our stand that Dr. Saraki has no direct or indirect link to the distribution of the NGF money. No money from the Paris Club refund was paid to Dr. Saraki.
“In addressing the specifics of the allegation in the reports as we gathered from the press, EFCC believes that since the Senate President has worked in the same organisation with Mr. Robert Mbonu before, whatever transaction he is involved in should be linked to the Senate President in this era of mud-slinging and mud-raking.
“We would like to say that Mr. Mbonu is not representing Mr. Saraki in any transaction he does with the NGF and no money from his company, Melrose, in his dealing with Nigeria Governors Forum came to Dr. Saraki either directly or indirectly.
“And if the EFCC has any information to the contrary, we challenge them to make it public.
“We state categorically that no aide of the Senate President acted on Saraki’s behalf in whatever they do with Mr. Mbonu.”
Olaniyonu stressed that if Melrose paid any money to a jeweller or any shop, it had nothing to do with the Senate President.
He stressed that Melrose would have the necessary document to support their transaction, adding that the anti-graft agency should be aware.
He added: “In the same vein, if Melrose chose to invest in another company, that decision has nothing to do with the Senate President and the act of drawing a link between Mbonu and Saraki can at best be only pure mischief.
“At this point, it should be noted that Xtract Energy Services Limited is a well known foreign exchange dealer with almost 15 years of existence in the market and the company is widely known to do business with many organisations in the country.
“The last time the Senate President patronised the company was on December 19, 2014 and we challenge Mr. Magu and the EFCC to prove that the Senate President transacted any form of business with the foreign exchange dealer in the period of the payment of the Paris Club refund.
“We call on members of the public to view this concocted and leaked report as Mr. Magu’s form of fighting back. The report has no truth in it.
“It should be noted that the Senate Prssident was not behind Magu’s failure to get confirmation from the Senate. That was democracy in action.
“Dr. Saraki is merely a presiding officer and first among equals. Dr. Saraki did not in any way interfere with the confirmation process.”

About Dunio Mabushi


Post a comment