Rumours around the suspension of Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, have persisted. There's plenty of smoke here
Kyari needs little introduction.
Grapevine sources have brought his name up when discussing the cabal operating within the Buhari Presidency.
Kyari runs this cabal alongside a certain Mamman Daura and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, various reports have suggested.
According to these reports, Kyari and Lawal receive kickbacks and bribes from members of the public in exchange for appointments and meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Pulse has not been able to independently verify these claims.
Only recently, Kyari was accused of receiving N500M in bribe from mobile telephony firm, MTN.
“That MTN bribery allegation was the last straw for Buhari”, said one Presidency source.
According to news reports, the President immediately ordered a probe of Kyari on the back of the MTN bribery allegation.
A Vanguard story published on October 21, 2016, gave fillip to the MTN bribery story:
“There are indications that the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Abba Kyari is under investigation by the Special Investigation Panel of the Nigerian Police Force over bribery allegations”, the Vanguard story read.
According to the story, top officials of MTN who were quizzed concerning the bribery allegation, denied offering Kyari bribe.
“Officials of MTN, who were invited and interviewed over the allegation, have vehemently denied that any such money emanated from the telecommunication company and that since the beginning of the $5billion fine saga, nobody had been approached for bribe.
“Another thing is that if such volume of money was paid through the banks, discreet investigation of financial dealings on the part of MTN and on the part of the COS has so far not revealed any transactions of such”.
But Kyari has been carefully watched for a while now, Presidency sources have told Pulse.
When wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, recently lamented that her husband’s Presidency had been hijacked by persons who didn’t even know what the APC manifesto looks like; or who possess no voters’ cards, plenty of fingers pointed the way of Kyari and Daura.
As rumours swirled on Thursday night that Kyari had been suspended, most of the President's supporters expressed how happy they were on social media.
They were practically willing the story to be true.
But their joy was short-lived as night gave way to midnight and the midnight, a new day.
No official statement from the Presidency announcing Kyari’s suspension had been issued at the time of filing this story.
Presidency spokespersons, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande, hadn’t answered calls for a confirmation or rebuttal of Kyari’s imminent suspension, at the time of filing this story.
On Friday, a defiant Kyari emerged from the President’s office, looking unruffled and unfazed.
"Are you going to tweet that I am back?”, he jibed at State House correspondents, a tongue visible in his cheek.
Kyari said he had only gone on leave and hadn’t been suspended.
Presidency sources spoken to for this story, however insist that Kyari is living on borrowed time at the moment.
“He’ll soon be gone. His cup is full. Mrs. Buhari may belong to the Kitchen, but she still wields some influence on her husband in the other room. This cabal has done plenty of damage to the Buhari Presidency and he’ll evict them one after the other”, said a source.