Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, says Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, is innocent of the N29.9m bribery allegation peddled against him.
TheCable had earlier reported Kyari’s response to the allegation by one Bako Kyari, who identified himself as a nephew to the chief of staff.
Bako had accused Kyari, during a recent radio programme on Berekete Family Radio 101.1FM, Abuja, and one Sani Ado, whom he claimed worked with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), of collecting N29.9 million from him in order to facilitate the award of a contract.
Reacting via an email chat with TheCable, Kyari described the accusation as “malicious”, adding that his legal team would “take action against all those who have peddled this falsehood”.
Shehu, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the said contract is “hinged on fiction”.
He argued that Kyari, “who spurned a monthly payment of N200 million to his office”, could not be accused of a N29m bribery case.
“We wish to state with full authority that the allegation is false and the Chief of Staff did not have any private meetings with the person making those allegations,” the presidency tweeted.
“We equally note that the supply of 15 Hilux vehicles for the Presidency was an unlikely contract to have been awarded, as it did not exist anywhere in the 2016 and 2017 budgets.
“Checking the appropriation for 2016 and 2017, that request is not even there. How could Abba Kyari have asked for money to award a contract that did not exist anywhere at all?
“In addition to that, the amount allegedly given in bribe was also suspicious, as the office of the presidential aide had been known in the past to receive imprest of 200 million naira and above every month, with no one expected to give account.
“It was only since Abba Kyari occupied that position that things changed.
“In blunt terms, it is difficult to make a case of N29 million bribery against an official who spurned a monthly payment of N200 million to his office, money for which he didn’t need to account to anyone.”