Presidency, Gov Lamido In Battle Over Corruption Allegation

The Presidency on Friday challenged governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa state to name the minister involved in the purported $250 million bribery allegation with evidence or be prepared to tender apologies to the president and Nigerians.

President Goodluck Jonathan refuted claims by Lamido that he ignored information that an unnamed minister collected $250 million bribe from an oil company.

Speaking through his special adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the President said the allegation is “regrettable, grossly irresponsible, falsehood and mischievous”.

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According to Abati, “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.”

He said no such communication has ever taken place between the two, saying the statement credited to the governor is a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on the seriousness of the administration’s efforts to curb corruption.

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“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 impinge the integrity of the President,” Abati stated.

“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,” he said further.

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He assured that the administration would continue to make corrupt public officials answerable for their actions and will not succumb to harassment and blackmail by “self-seeking politicians jostling for personal advantage”.

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