‘I never took bribe from Jonathan,’ Senate President denies reports

Saraki also said that he has not met with Jonathan since he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014.

 

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has denied reports that he accepted a bribe from former President, Goodluck Jonathan to influence the Senate probe on the $20 billion which allegedly went missing from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) account.

Saraki also said that he has not met with Jonathan since he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014.

The Senate President made the clarifications via a statement released by his media aide, Bankole Omisore.

It reads:

“The attention of the Senate President’s media office has been drawn to a malicious fabrication by an online publication aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.”

“First, as a senator in the seventh National Assembly, the Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki never signed the report of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Finance Committee investigation into the alleged non-remittance by NNPC of $20 billion into the federation account.”

“In his letter dated June 30, 2014 to the committee withholding his signature, he said ‘it is my opinion that this report as laid has not fully addressed the matter referred to us adequately and conclusively.”

“The report has not been definitive on its findings and has failed to address some of the critical issues I had raised during our meetings. For this reason, I am withholding my support and signature.”

“The records of the committee are still accessible in the National Assembly and a copy is here attached.”

“Secondly, it is still on record that Senator Saraki is the only senator in the committee that refused to sign the report even in the face of severe duress and personal inconvenience.”

“Also, Saraki never met with Jonathan on this report (committee met last on the 16th of February 2014). So, the thought of Saraki working to bring down the number or amount unremitted with Goodluck Jonathan is completely false.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, there has been no meeting of any type between Senator Saraki and former President Jonathan since the senator left PDP. So, any suggestion that ex-President Jonathan sent Chagoury to Saraki with gifts/money to seek support from him on the report is totally false. Both the Sarakis and Chagourys have been family friends for over 26 years.”

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited Saraki’s wife, Toyin to appear before it on July 28 to answer questions on funds traced to some companies she has interests in.

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