The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari has denied the report that she took advantage of her position with others in her husband’s government, has continued to fiddle with the finances of the embassy.
Sahara Reporters had alleged: “Abba Kyari, the increasingly controversial Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, is at the centre of another unwholesome saga that is likely to reinforce further the view that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption stance is a ruse.
“This time, an investigation by SaharaReporters found that Mr. Kyari has been fiddling with the finances of the Nigeria High Commission, London, where the country’s resources are being dubiously deployed for questionable or illicit purposes.
“Also involved in the costly financial mess are Adah Simon Ogah, Nigeria’s acting High Commissioner, and Omolayo Akinfala, a special assistant to Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife.”
The report further said Nigerians resident in the UK are not aware that they paid Kyari’s medical bill when he was treated at Wellington Hospital, St John’s Wood, London, in December 2016 at a time the government blamed its failure to issue passports to Nigerians resident in the UK on a lack of funds.
The report said: “A letter signed by Mr Ogah and addressed to Professor Paul of Wellington Hospital provides a confirmation of the role of the high commission in Mr Kyari’s treatment.
“Dated December 1, 2016 and titled: ‘Letter of Guarantee In Respect Of Alhaji Abba Kyari’, Mr Ogah’s letter stated: ‘I write to confirm that the Nigeria High Commission, London, United Kingdom, will guarantee the payment of all medical bills of Alhaji Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria’.”
The report also presented a documented letter to prove its indictment of the affected top Nigerians.
In her reaction through, Mrs Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi, her special assistant on media in Abuja on Friday, January 6, 2017, Mrs Buhari said it was not in her interest to join issues with the medium but that she only wanted to keep the record straight.
“This is necessary as it concerns her trip to UK and the Nigerian High Commission in London. Mrs Buhari had never traveled with a large entourage to London as reported by the Sahara Reporters.
“The Nigerian High Commission in London had never offered any favour either in cash or material to Mrs Buhari,” the statement said adding that the records were clear for any reporter to see.
“Mrs Buhari would have ignored the publication like all such baseless accusations, but for the angle with which the report was presented has a corruption and abuse of privileges connotation.
“This, however, negates the fundamental principles upon which Buhari’s administration thrives.
“It is on record that the Nigerian High Commission in London did not receive Aisha Buhari at the airport with any official distinction or privilege as it was accorded other first ladies before her.
“She never complained or raised dust about any of these act by the high commission because of the understanding as clearly spelt out and practised by her husband that public office must be separated from the private lives of the occupants.
“Even her drivers are privately arranged without any recourse to embassy for staff,” she added according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said it was unfortunate that she would be linked to alleged acts that shortchanged Nigerians.