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[FILE PHOTO] Buhari

The Presidency last night debunked the allegation that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, collected millions of naira bribe to award a contract for the supply of vehicles.

Dismissing the reports, the Presidency in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the allegation was a calculated plan to smear the image of President Buhari as the 2019 elections draw nearer.

The President is a contender to the office. 

The statement read: “The Presidency takes strong offence to the improbable and outlandish publication by Punch Newspaper today (Saturday) in a dig at presidential aide Abba Kyari who was alleged to have collected a 29 million naira bribe for awarding of a contract.

“We wish to state with full authority that the allegation is wrong and the Chief of Staff did not have any private meetings with the person making those allegations.

“What is even more surprising is the decision by the newspaper to run the cooked up lies despite obvious loopholes in the story, such as the Bureau of Public Procurement’s denial that a major source for the story was a member of their staff. 

“With a slew of crucial elections ahead, some politicians and their media agents appear to be working together to build pressure on the Buhari administration by wielding non-existent scandals against it.

“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.



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