Press Release: Count Me Out Of Arms Deal, Says Saraki

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has dissociated
himself from the N60bn arms deal involving the immediate past National Security
Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and
Publicity), Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that contrary to report published in
an online medium, SaharaReporters, he has never had anything to do with
purchase of security equipment because in his entire political career he never
served in any committee or body which has any link with Defence or national
“As a member of the Seventh Senate, Dr. Saraki was not
a member of any of the committees which have oversight function on the Ministry
of Defence or the intelligence and national security apparatus. If he was
tagged the leader of the opposition to the Jonathan administration, how then
will he be privy to Arms purchases and have the influence to blackmail any
government agency or institution over the release of funds. Continue,,,

“The Senate President would like to alert members of
the public to this new plot by this particular online medium, SaharaReporters
to tarnish his reputation as the medium and its sponsors pursue the singular
objective of removing him from the office of the Senate President, an objective
they have since failed to achieve within and outside the National
This time around, SaharaReporters and its sponsors chose to
drag the Senate President to this reigning and current issue of arms purchase
by insinuating that he once blackmailed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to
give him and other Senators the sum of N250 million as a way of covering up the
arbitrary withdrawal by the NSA from the security fund approved by the former
First, there is no logic in SaharaReporters’ claim as Dr.
Saraki who was persecuted by the last administration could not have had the
influence and good standing to walk up to the Central Bank to demand for any
money having exposed many atrocities of the past administration. Again, on what
ground would the Senate President blackmail anyone for 250 Million naira? It
must be emphasized here that Dr. Saraki will never engage in any sharp practice
or issue which will warrant him to blackmail any individual or government
“Therefore for record purposes, Dr. Saraki did not
collect any money from any official of the CBN in respect of any arms deal. The
Senate President also challenge SaharaReporters or any official of the apex
bank, Senator, serving or past, who witnessed or participated in any sharing of
the alleged money purported to have been received by him, to come out with
“It should be recalled that SaharaReporters believe it
can continue to disparage and defame people claiming that it is operating
outside the country. The medium cannot operate above the law.
“This same medium had falsely published the data page
of a forged passport it purportedly claimed belonged to Saraki. The Home Office
in the United Kingdom has since written to confirm that the said passport, does
not belong to the Senate President. Also, SaharaReporters once claimed that
Saraki bribed some judges using a former Chief Justice of Nigeria as a front.
The claim has since been proven to be false. Anybody who knows the reputation
of the retired Justice in question knows that he cannot be used to pervert the
cause of justice.
” It also claimed that Saraki tried to cover up the
case of $20 billion missing NNPC fund and indeed collected “cash and gifts”
from former President Goodluck Jonathan through Mr. Gilbert Chagoury when in
actual fact the Senate President was the only member of the Senate committee
who refused to sign the majority report of the Makarfi committee because he
disagreed with the report which he believed did not address the matter. It is
strange however that a man who dissociated himself from the probe report
because he believed it amounted to a cover up was later accused by the same
online medium as supporting attempts to hide the issue of the missing funds.
This is not only completely false, but also a fiction concocted by
SaharaReporters to defame Dr. Saraki.
“The game being played by SaharaReporters and its
sponsors is clear. As they have done in previous cases involving the on-going
trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, they are
targeting the Appeal at the Supreme Court coming up on Thursday, December 3rd
2015. They want to prejudice the Supreme Court as they have done when they
blackmailed a judge of the Federal High Court to withdraw from the case and also
published false reports, which compelled the Court of Appeal to postpone its
judgment at the last minute.
“Whatever the motive of SaharaReporters, it is high
time we employed the instrument of the law to stop this act of impunity aimed
at publishing false reports believing the victims will not go to court or be
frustrated by its dubious claims that they are domiciled outside Nigeria.
” We urge all Nigerians and other well-meaning
individuals across the globe to ignore this absolutely false claim by SaharaReporters.
Like we earlier stated, this false claim shall not go unchallenged. We shall
meet in court.
“We have allowed SaharaReporters enough latitude to indulge
in their unscrupulous and mischievous method of journalism. However, enough is
enough. We have no option than to commence legal action against Sahara
Reporters in all relevant jurisdictions, particularly on the issue of fake
passport, false claim of bribery and the recent one on blackmail, all aimed at
tarnishing the image of the Senate President.

“We need to put an end to this concerted mischief of
defaming the person and good reputation of Senator Bukola Saraki. We will
vigorously defend the integrity of the Senate President. We believe law and
global best practices should guide these cyber-warriors. They have abused the
docility of the law for too long. Enough is enough.”

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