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$250m bribe: Presidency wants minister named

16 November 2013, 15:44

Abuja - The presidency on Friday refuted the claim by Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa that President Goodluck Jonathan ignored information that a minister collected a 250 million dollar (about N37 billion) bribe from an oil company.

The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the allegation is "regrettable, grossly irresponsible, falsehood and mischievous".

He challenged the governor to name the Minister involved in the purported bribery allegation with evidence or be prepared to apologise to the president and Nigerians.

``The allegation and the claim by Lamido that he informed President Jonathan of the acceptance of the huge bribe by an unnamed minister is absolutely without any foundation in fact or reality.

``No such communication has ever taken place between them.

``The Presidency views the patently bogus allegation reportedly made by the governor in a radio interview yesterday as an unacceptable and callous attempt to unjustly impugn the integrity of the President.

``It is also to cast aspersions on the seriousness of his administration’s efforts to curb corruption.

``We abhor Gov. Lamido’s descent to the unscrupulous, reckless and thoughtless peddling of arrant falsehood in a puerile effort to score cheap political points against President Jonathan for personal and sectional political gains.

``If, as he claims, Alhaji Lamido has credible information about a minister receiving the said amount as bribe, he should publicly name the minister involved without delay and provide evidence to support his allegation.

``In the event that he is unable to do so, he should be prepared to offer an unreserved apology to the President and Nigerians for his unwarranted and unjust effort to denigrate, disparage and malign the President and the Federal Government," Abati said.

He said that the Jonathan Administration would continue to make corrupt public officials answerable for their actions.

Abati added that the administration would also not succumb to harassment and blackmail by self-seeking politicians jostling for personal advantage.



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