Senate President Bukola Saraki has denied allegations that he imported a luxury vehicle which was seized by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, for failure to pay import duty.
Former Senate majority leader, Ali Ndume, had during Tuesday’s plenary raised a point of order, asking the senate to investigate an allegation that the recent face-off between it and the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, was a way of getting back at the CG for sanctioning the seizure of Saraki’s vehicle.
Ali and the senate have been engaged in a seeming battle for supremacy over the former’s refusal to wear the customs uniform.
Following the motion raised by Ndume, at plenary on Tuesday which was presided over by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the senate resolved to investigate the allegation.
However, Saraki’s spokesman Yusuph Olaniyonu, in a statement issued after the session, said that his principal had nothing to do with the issue.
“The allegation raised today by Senator Ali Ndume linking Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki to the importation of vehicle lacks basis as it was outright falsehood,” the statement read.
According to Olaniyonu, going by the facts as well as documents from the seized vehicle, “it is obvious that the senate president has nothing to do with the importation of any vehicle”.
He stated: “A supplier was engaged by the senate to supply a vehicle. While transferring the vehicle between Lagos and Abuja, it was impounded by the customs.
“We believe that this is an issue between the supplier and the customs because the senate has not taken delivery.
“So, why is somebody trying to drag in the name of Saraki into the issue,”he queried.
Olaniyonu added that “the documents on the vehicle are there for the general public to view and make their conclusions.”
“Now, that the matter has been referred to the committee on ethics,privileges and public petitions, all the facts will be out,” he said.
Meanwhile the Senate Ethics and Privileges committee has also been mandated to investigate the allegation of certificate forgery against one of its ranking members, Dino Melaye.
A report by online news website, Sahara Reporters had claimed that Melaye, who is the Chairman of the Senate committee on the FCT, did not really graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria as contained in his CV.
The Committee was given two weeks to conclude its investigations and report back to plenary.