The immediate past President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has described as misleading and mischievous, a newspaper report which claimed he and other Senators failed to effectively retire the expenditure of N73.5 billion allocated to the eighth National Assembly as running cost for their offices.
DailyTrust had reported on Tuesday that Senators who served in the immediate past NASS received over N73 billion in four years as running cost for their offices without effectively retiring the expenditure.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu on Tuesday, Saraki said before leaving office on June 6, 2019, he duly retired all funds allocated as running cost to his office before as President of the Senate between June 2015 and May 2019.
He accused the newspaper and its reporter of distorting facts in the report, saying if the reporter had diligently investigated the issue and raised the right questions in the right quarters, he would have been availed the facts concerning his activities as the Senate President.
Saraki added that it is misleading and mischievous for the newspaper to allege that he failed to retire the running cost allocated to his office as President of the eighth Senate.
The statement read:
“The attention of the Media Office of the Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has been drawn to a front page story in today’s edition of Daily Trust (Sept. 24 2019), with the headline: ” 8th Assembly: Saraki, Ekweremadu, others failed to retire N73.5bn running cost”.
“We deem it necessary to put the record straight and correct the wrong impression created by the newspaper by stating that before leaving office on June 6, 2019, Dr. Saraki duly retired all funds allocated as running cost to his office as President of the Senate between June 2015 and May 2019.
“We also wish to state categorically and with emphasis that the National Assembly management equally issued a Certificate of Retirement in acknowledgement of the fact that Dr. Saraki has fully complied with relevant laws, rules and regulations in respect of the use and retirement of such funds.
“We believe that if the Daily Trust reporter had diligently investigated the issue and raised the right questions in the right quarters, he would have been availed the facts concerning the former Senate President.
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“It is therefore misleading and mischievous for the newspaper to allege that Sen. Saraki has failed to retire the running cost allocated to his office as President of the eight Senate.
“We expect that such news story would have been properly investigated and full facts obtained before rushing to press.
“We will like to recall that the story under reference merely signify the negative, misleading unverified and inaccurate reporting by a section of the press against Dr. Saraki, with the intention of portraying him and the 8th Senate in a negative way to the public. Fortunately the public is now better informed. Thus, we advise that instead of carrying on along these old lines, your newspaper should focus on the issues that affect the lives of the people and how to find solutions to the multifarious challenges facing the country.”