Saraki Has Nothing To Do With Importation Of Vehicle, Says Aide
The allegation raised on the floor of the upper legislative chamber by Senator Ali Ndume linking Senate President Bukola Saraki to the importation of a vehicle lacks basis as it was outright falsehood, a media aide to Saraki has said.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent on Tuesday, January 21, 2017, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the special adviser on media and publicity to Dr. Saraki said that the facts and documents about the seized vehicle, it is obvious that the senate president has nothing to do with the importation of any vehicle.
“A supplier was engaged by the Nigerian Senate to supply a vehicle,” the statement said. “While transferring the vehicle between Lagos and Abuja, it was impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service.”
“We believe that is an issue between the supplier and the Customs because the Senate has not taken delivery. So, why is somebody trying to drag in the name of Dr. Saraki into the issue?”
“The documents on the vehicle are there for the general public to view and make their conclusions. Now, that the matter has been referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, all the facts will be out,” Olaniyonu stated.
An online tabloid often referred to as the “mouthpiece of the APC” reported over the weekend that the standoff between the Senate and Colonel Hameed Ali, the comptroller-general of the state was connected to a bullet-proof vehicle impounded by the customs.
“SaharaReporters has learned that the Nigerian Senate’s current war against the leadership of the Nigerian Customs Service has its roots in the fact that Customs officials seized a bulletproof Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) owned by Senate President Bukola Saraki,” the report said.
“Our investigators discovered that Nigerian Customs officers in Lagos had on January 11, 2017, intercepted and impounded a Range Rover SUV which carried documents that claimed its chassis number was “SALGV3TF3EA190243.”
“Customs sources told our correspondent that the value of the car was N298 million, which meant that customs duty of N74 million should have been paid on the car.
“At the interception of the car, its driver claimed that the vehicle belonged to the Senate President and presented a letter from the National Assembly liaison office in Lagos, indicating that the driver of the luxury vehicle was authorized to drive the Senate President’s official Range Rover bulletproof car,” the report said in part.