As the controversy over the ownership of N310 million allegedly stolen from the Maitama home of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki gathers storm, the Department of State Service, DSS, yesterday cleared him of any culpability.
The DSS said the cash did not belong to Saraki or any member of the National Assembly and accused its dismissed staff, who is now standing trial for armed robbery, Abdulrasheed Maigari, of trying to fabricate a lie for a hidden motive.
It will be recalled that Maigari, a former DSS operative, had said that he and others connived to steal the huge cash from the Senate President’s home when they were working as security operatives in his house. But a top DSS source last night disclosed that the facts emanating from its investigations did not support the claims by Maigari and should be ignored. The DSS said, “The story making the rounds that the N310 million belonging to the Senate President was stolen in 2015 is a malicious falsehood. From our investigation, the money in question did not belong to the senate President or any member of the National Assembly for that matter. The investigation conducted by the DSS and the confessional statement made by Abdulrasheed Maigari, a suspect in the case, did not support this claim at all.
Maigari’s recent claim in the media is nothing but a made up story to achieve a hidden motive. The fact that Maigari, who is currently standing trial for an armed robbery case, could make up such a false claim is a further indication of how criminally minded he is.
Apparently to prove his innocence in the matter, Saraki had earlier in the day distanced himself from the said money, claiming that the money was not stolen from his house but from a bureau de change. The Senate President in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sani Onogu, said he did not have military personnel among his security details, describing the story as an ”April fool stuff.”
The statement said, “The attention of the Media Office of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been drawn to a rehash of mischievous and concocted allegations aimed at misleading the public with spurious claims that the Senate President allegedly owned the sum of N310million said to have been stolen from a Bureau de Change operator in November 2015, by suspected operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and some army personnel. “This Office wants to reiterate that the Senate President had nothing to do with the said stolen money by suspected security agents then and even now as being maliciously peddled by some online media to tarnish his image.
“This Office had also in a statement, in reaction to the false report, stated that the Senate President had nothing to do with the money allegedly stolen. We still insist that he has nothing to do with the money and we challenge those still rehashing the stale and fake news to avail themselves of the reports of the police and the DSS on the matter to avoid misleading members of the public unnecessarily. “Let me state that the Senate President has no army personnel among his security details.
Therefore, it becomes absurd for one of the suspects in the robbery to have claimed according to the report that the money was brought to the Senate President’s house from where they connived to steal it. “The report remains a lie which must be disregarded by the public, and should it be re-circulated tomorrow, it will still remain a lie. At best we count this unwarranted fake report as part of the April Fool ritual.
But the public deserves a better deal from its sponsors and purveyors. “Besides, the content and intention of the fake is nothing but baseless allegations emanating from the infantile minds of unreasonable interlopers, hell bent on rubbing mud on the reputation of a distinguished Nigerian, who is today in his capacity as the Senate President, is working assiduously with critical stakeholders to stabilize and grow our economy. Enough is enough.” Maigari, 35, now standing trial for both kidnapping and armed robbery, had claimed in several media outlets yesterday that he was part of the security men who stole N310 million from the house of Senate President, Bukola Saraki in 2015.