N500m alleged bribe: Buhari’s top aide surrenders for probe - mymp3plus




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N500m alleged bribe: Buhari’s top aide surrenders for probe

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President Muhammadu Buhari may have ordered one of
his senior aides to answer to the allegation of taking N500
million bribe from a leading telecommunications firm in
Nigeria to reduce a huge fine imposed on it by the Nigerian
Communications Commission (NCC).

The aide, according to findings by Sunday Vanguard , has
already made statement to an investigation team headed
by a top police officer mandated by the Presidency to
investigate the matter and recommend disciplinary

A source conversant with the work of the Special
Investigation Panel, SIP, confirmed that the affected
presidential aide vehemently denied receiving the bribe
when he appeared before the panel.

It was learnt that all the officials of the
telecommunications firm, MTN, who also made statements
to the SIP, equally denied ever inducing any government
official to get the huge fine of N1.04 trillion imposed on the
firm by the NCC slashed to N300 billion to be paid out in
many years.

A competent source said, “Officials of MTN, who were
invited and interviewed over the allegation, have
vehemently denied that any such money emanated from
the telecommunications company and that, since the
beginning of the $5billion fine saga, nobody had been
approached for bribe.

“The top aide of the President, who also honoured the
summon of the SIP, distanced himself from reports
claiming that he ever collected the said huge sum of
money from the telecoms firm.

“I think the matter may just die naturally if the online
medium which made the allegation does not show up and
give credible evidence that the affected official ever
demanded and collected the bribe”.
The source went on: “It is our strong position that if such
volume of money was paid through the banks, it would
have been very easy to trace.

It would have been possible
to see where the money emanated from, and where it
ended. But the problem is that the online medium that
raised the alarm has refused to honour our numerous
invitations to shed light on the matter”.

It was gathered that MTN, deeply troubled by the
allegation, had drawn the attention of the South African
government to it, forcing President Jacob Zuma to discuss
the issue with Buhari during his last visit to Nigeria.

The NCC, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, had slammed a $5
billion fine on MTN for failing to disconnect subscribers
with unregistered phone lines bought before January 2012.
The probe of the alleged bribe against the official in the
Buhari cabinet, it was learnt, followed a directive by the
Presidency to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris
to investigate the allegation.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar
Malami, had explained in an interview with one of our
correspondents that government deliberately slashed the
MTN fine to prevent affected telecomms firm from folding
up and throwing its over 500,000 Nigerians in its employ
into the labour market. 

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