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Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu said in a statement on Saturday that Kumo at some point in time was linked to Buhari’s family member in marriage, but the “relationship ended some years ago.”
Shehu noted that the ICPC’s notice affirmed the unfettered freedom by Buhari’s administration to carry out its statutory responsibility without interference.
“That a state institution can issue such is a measure of the administration’s commitment to accountability, equality, and justice.”
He added that the president’s position at all times was that the law would be allowed to take its course, noting that President Buhari would not provide any cover for crime, no matter who was involved.
The ICPC, in a statement by its Spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, had earlier listed Kumo and two others, Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola, now at large, as parties to the fraud.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr Tarry Rufus, Mr Gimba Yau Kumo and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000),” the statement had read.
The agency urged members of the public to avail it of credible information that would lead to their arrest.
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices or the nearest police station, or call ICPC toll-free lines: 0803-123-0280, 0803-123-0281, 0803-123-0282, 0705-699-0190, 0705-699-0191 and 0800-CALL-ICPC (0800-2255-4272) or send an email to [email protected]”
The Buhari’s presidency has been dotted with allegations of corruption directly with people close to him or his ministers.
Nigeria’s former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Tukur Buratai was accused of purchasing Dubai property with government funds.
Buhari’s late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari was accused of being involved in N500 million MTN bribery scandal.
About $43 million was found in a Lagos flat said to be owed by Folashade Oke, wife of former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayodele Oke. In 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it could not find the ex-NIA boss and his wife.
The Niger Delta Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under the direct supervision of the Minister of Niger Delta headed by Godwill Akpabio has been embroiled in allegations of corruption, leading to a series of probes by both houses of the National Assembly and one by the Presidency.
The embattled and suspended Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman is currently being probed for an alleged non-remittance of N165.32 billion operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
So far, nothing has come out of the probes. President Muhammadu Buhari promised to fight corruption when he came on board in 2015, but Transparency International thinks he is not doing so.
In 2020, Nigeria slumped to 149 (out of 180) on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), scoring 25 points out of 100.
The ranking placed Nigeria as West Africa’s most corrupt country after Guinea-Bissau.
In 2019, Nigeria was ranked 146th, with a total score of 26 (out of 100). In 2018 and 2017, the country maintained a CPI score of 27, ranking 144 and 148 respectively.
Nigeria ranked 136 out of 176 with a score of 27 in 2014, one year before Buhari was elected.