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Saraki denies juicy offers by presidency, APC

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Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has debunked speculations that juicy offers were made to him by President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for him to jettison his strategic plan to defect from the party.

Saraki, however, said there had been discussions on some national issues and described the alleged “mouth-watering” offers by either the APC leadership or Buhari as not only untrue but unfortunate.

The Senate President’s reaction followed media reports that the Presidency and APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, had made mind-boggling offers to influential leaders of Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), which had slowed their planned mass defection from the ruling party.

The reports claimed that Buhari, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo and four APC governors met last week Thursday with Saraki to prevail on him and other disaffected members of the party known as R-APC from dumping the APC.

Oshiomhole was also said to have met separately with Saraki, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, governors of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal and Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

He was also reported to have met with former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and APC caucus in the National Assembly, with a view to dousing the defection threat.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja yesterday, Saraki said it was myopic for anybody to talk about certain offers being made to an individual.

He said the future of the country was at stake rather than the politics of give and take.

In another development, the House of Representatives yesterday quizzed officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPH) over alleged spending of N1.7 billion for the purchase of the company’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mr. Darlington Nwokocha-led ad-hoc committee, probing into constitutional breaches, impunity and other infractions of the outfit, insisted that it behooves the management of the outfit to dig into the books to ascertain the actual amount spent to procure the property.

This, he noted, could be sourced through the provident department of the outfit which would enable the committee identify those involved in the bidding process and ascertain noticeable infractions in the procurement process.

NDPHC’s Managing Director, Mr. Chris Ugbo, who led the officials to the hearing, faulted the notions held in certain quarters that the headquarters’ building was purchased in foreign currency.

He promised to avail the lawmakers the details of the transaction notwithstanding the fact that it was procured by his predecessors.

Ugbo disclosed that the firm’s foreign and local accounts were domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) policy of the Federal Government.


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