President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday denied claims that he was a beneficiary of financial disbursements made by former NSA Sambo Dasuki.
Reports had gained traction in the online media linking Buhari with the allegations of graft leveled against Dasuki and his cronies. Specifically, the reports had claimed that Buhari received a compensation of $300,000 from former President Goodluck Jonathan after Boko Haram terrorists attacked his convoy in Kaduna last year. His bullet proof Toyota Landcruiser jeeps worth millions were also allegedly replaced with new ones by Dasuki. According to the allegations which went viral in the social media, “President Buhari received 5 bullet proof jeeps from Sambo Dasuki valued over N500 million without the approval of the Presidency.”
In a statement made available by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Buhari in the face of accusation said he received “nothing untoward, illegal or tending to corruption” from Jonathan before or after the attack.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports making the rounds, especially on internet-based media, that President Muhammadu Buhari received $300,000.00 and up to five armoured SUVs from the Office of the National Security Adviser in the aftermath of the attack on his convoy in Kaduna last year.
“We unequivocally deny that President Buhari received $300,000.00 or any monetary compensation whatsoever from the Jonathan Presidency or any of its officials, in the aftermath of that attack, or at any other time since then.
“While it is true that one armoured SUV and one untreated SUV were sent to the President in the aftermath of the attack, the vehicles were in keeping with his entitlements as a former Head of State under the Remuneration of Former Presidents and Heads of State (And other Ancillary Matters) Decree of 1999.
“Section 3, Sub Section 1 of that Decree provides that three vehicles will be provided for former heads of state and replaced every four years.
“There was therefore nothing untoward, illegal or tending to corruption in former Head of State Buhari and Presidential aspirant, as he then was, receiving vehicles, to which he was statutorily entitled , from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“President Buhari had in keeping with his austere, spartan and frugal disposition shunned most of his entitlements as a former Head of State, but was prevailed upon by his supporters to accept the two vehicles for his personal safety in the aftermath of the dastardly attempt to assassinate him.
“It is preposterous to think that the President will allow his acclaimed reputation of honesty and incorruptibility to be tarnished by accepting a questionable monetary compensation from a discredited regime.”
The immediate past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and three other persons were on Monday docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Messrs Dasuki; a former Director of Finance at the Office of National Security Adviser, Shuaibu Salisu; a former General Manager at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Babakusa; and a firm, Acacia Holdings, were docked at the Federal High Court Abuja on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
Buhari as President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria may never have his day in court to defend himself over his alleged involvement in the sharing of Dasuki’s alleged loot owing to the immunity from prosecution he enjoys by virtue of his office.
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