© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Pantami: Minister denies purchasing new houses for his three wives in Abuja
ISA Pantami, the Minister of Communication has debunked reports that he recently purchased three houses in Abuja for his three wives.
Pantami stated this in a press statement shared on the official Twitter page of the Federal Ministry of Communication on Friday.
According to the minister, since his assumption into office, he hasn’t procured a single property anywhere in the world.
The statement signed by Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson to the minister, disclosed that the houses in the photos being circulated online were not his with the exception of two houses.
It explained that one of the houses has been occupied by the minister since 2017, two years before his appointment as Minister of Communication.
Pantami was appointed as Minister of Communication by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019.
The statement added that another house in the photo is a rented property of the minister, emphasizing that the two other houses in the photos are not owned or known by the minister.
“For the purpose of setting the records straight, the Honourable Minister has not purchased a single property anywhere in the world, in the period he has been in office as minister,” the statement read.
“One of the apartments in the images published is one which the minister has occupied since January 2017, more than two years before becoming minister, while the other one is a house he rented since 17th December 2019. Two images are not even known to him.”
The statement further disclosed that the minister’s current salaries and allowances are lower than his earnings when he worked as a professor at the International University, Madinah, in Saudi Arabia.
According to the remuneration packages approved by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the current cohort of Nigerian ministers earn up to N13.3 million annually, including allowances.
Defending his integrity, the statement spelled that the minister made a sacrifice to serve the nation, reiterating that he is driven by selfless service and patriotism.
The statement also submitted that Pantami, a successful businessman abhors corruption and fights it in both professional and personal capacity.
“Dr Pantami’s integrity and credibility precede him, and his fight against corruption in both official and personal capacities have become a reference point not only nationally, but globally,” the statement read.
Sahara Reporters on Thursday published a photo news alleging that Pantami purchased three new house in Wuse area of the FCT for his three wives. In one of the photos, the minister is seen sitting on a couch in one of the supposed houses.