N18bn bribe: Saraki, DSS charge Buhari to order Oshiomhole’s prosecution


The senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Department of State Services (DSS) have called President Muhammadu Buhari to order the prosecution of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole who was alleged to have collected $50 million (about N18, 000, 000, 000) bribes from members of the party before and after the party’s primaries.

The call came in the wake of a revelation by the former publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Timi Frank who alleged that Oshiomhole collected over $50 million from different aspirants during the last primaries of the party.

Frank alleged that a chunk of the money was paid to Oshiomhole through proxies from Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa and Ogun states.

Frank who made the allegation in a statement on Thursday threatened to publish the names and the amount of money paid by aspirants to allegedly bribe the APC chairman to clear them and substitute the names of duly elected candidates with those who failed.

He wondered why President Buhari was yet to take a decisive step on the matter.

Frank who asked the president to act on the recommendations of the DSS by relieving Oshiomhole of his job said: “I dare say that by this singular act of refusing to order the prosecution of Oshiomhole over sundry acts of bribery and corruption he committed as contained in the DSS report, President Buhari has shown that his APC-led administration is a stinking house of corruption.

“We are in the know that Buhari has received the DSS report on Oshiomhole and Nigerians are patiently waiting for the action or inaction of his government because this is an administration that has claimed fighting corruption as an achievement.

“In the history of party administration in Nigeria, no party chairman has been accused of collecting the jaw-breaking amount of money allegedly collected within a short period in office like Oshiomhole has allegedly done.

“Instead of Oshiomhole to clear his name, he has taken to diversionary path asking the senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki to resign. Nigerians are not gullible. We shall wait to see how the acclaimed anti-corruption regime will act on this particular issue.”

“This same Oshiomhole has been attacking the Senate president, calling on him to resign on moral ground, can Oshiomhole now step aside while investigation into his financial malfeasance is ongoing to justify his much talked about morality?”

A source who was privy to how money changed hands alleged that $17 came from Zamfara State, $3 million from Imo State, $5 million from Ogun while another $500, 000 came from Imo but was rejected for inexplicable reasons.

In his reaction to the allegations, Saraki charged the president to test his anti-graft fight by conducting a thorough and genuine investigation into the allegations of bribery against the APC chairman.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate president said: “Nigerians are eagerly awaiting how President Buhari will handle the serious allegations of bribery levelled against Oshiomhole over the conduct of the just concluded primary elections in the party.

“We expect the President with his anti-corruption campaign to institute thorough and transparent investigation into the allegations against his party chairman.

“The failure of the President to get to the root of the matter will finally destroy his ability and that of the party to continue to talk of any anti-graft battle. The President should let the investigation be thorough, open and transparent. This is no time for any cover-up.”

Saraki maintained that until the outcome of the investigation is known to Nigerians and the APC chairman is cleared of the allegations against him, Oshiomhole is not on a firm ground to talk about morality or fight against corruption.

Saraki, who had been constantly asked by Oshiomhole to resign his position and return the senate crown to APC, also said Oshiomhole had ‘no locus standi to talk about morality in today’s Nigerian politics.”

In his reaction, Oshiomhole challenged Frank to name those who bribed him (Oshiomhole) or risk a court action.

The APC chairman who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem said the former deputy spokesman for APC as “a political jobber”.

“He is a political jobber looking for cheap popularity. How on earth would people of questionable character like Frank be questioning the integrity of the national chairman? I challenge him to publish the names of those that gave the alleged bribes or we won’t hesitate to institute legal action against him,” he said.

NewsGazette had on November 8 reported that the DSS interrogated the APC national chairman for over nine hours for allegedly receiving bribes during the party’s primary elections.

The DSS, it was gathered, acted on the allegations by some APC governors that the party’s chairman received some money from them.

A source said DSS had asked Oshiomhole to resign during interrogation.

But Oshiomhole resisted the pressure saying he would only do so if he loses Buhari’s confidence.

Oshiomhole who later said in an interview that he had a conversation with the DSS stated that he would not resign his position since the DSS did not hire him.

“I wasn’t hired by the DSS and I cannot be requested by DSS to resign or to retain the job. APC is a structured party; we have organs. I know the procedure and I believe the DSS also understands their own role in the system. It’s not up to them to demand the resignation of a party chairman, whether that party chairman is the chairman of a ruling party or chairman of an opposition.

“But I believe it is their right to have a conversation with anyone, who in their opinion, can assist them in discharging their mandate so that Nigeria is safe and secure, particularly as we move towards 2019 elections,” he said.


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