The Presidency has denied any knowledge of bribe money allegedly collected by a serving minister, just as it challenged Governor Sule Lamido to name the minister in question or tender apology to Nigerian.
Governor Lamido had alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan refused to act on information that a serving minister recently collected a bribe of $250 million from an oil company.
However, in a swift reaction, Presidential Spokesman Dr Reuben Abati said Lamido was just peddling false rumours to promote his own “personal and sectional interests.”
Abati in a statement made available to NewsInvestigators said, “If, as he claims, Alhaji Lamido has credible information about a minister receiving the said amount as bribe, he should publicly name the minister involved without delay and provide evidence to support his allegation.
As he hinted that “in the event that he is unable to do so, he should be prepared to offer an unreserved apology to the President and Nigerians for his unwarranted and unjust effort to denigrate, disparage and malign the President and the Federal Government.”
According to the presidential spokesman, “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 impugn the integrity of President Jonathan and cast aspersions on the seriousness of his Administration’s efforts to curb corruption.”
He added that, “the allegation and the claim by Alhaji 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 because no such communication has ever taken place between them.”
He further stated that “presidency abhor Governor 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.”
“While the Jonathan Presidency will continue to make corrupt public officials answerable for their actions, it will not succumb to harassment and blackmail by self-seeking politicians jostling for personal advantage.” He concluded.