OrderPaperToday – Immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has faulted the statement from All Progressives Congress (APC) linking him and other political leaders to a cyber-crime suspect and socialite, Ramon Abbas also known as Hushpuppi, who was recently arrested in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the United States.
APC had in a statement through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena identified Saraki, PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts to have taken photographs at different times with Hushpuppi at a Dubai meeting while preparing for the then general elections.
APC asked that this should be investigated by the relevant investigative agencies.
The statement reads: “…the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and “Hushpuppi’s” affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.
“At different times, “Hushpuppi” was been photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.
“While relevant authorities investigate the nature of their relationship and business partnership, we also challenge the PDP leadership to do same by opening up on the nature of the relationship, particularly the kind of services the arrested “Hushpuppi” provided them.”
Reacting to this statement, Saraki in a statement through his Media aide on Saturday described it as “irresponsible and cheap politics”.
He also denied knowing Hushpuppi noting that the agencies should have investigated the socialite while he was freely displaying his wealth.
The statement from Saraki reads: “The statement credited to the APC, the ruling party in our country, is one of the ways by which our anti-graft agencies are weakened and why the fight against corruption in the country is often viewed with suspicion by the international community.
“This is because when these cyber-crime suspects were operating freely and openly displaying wealth, the APC saw nothing bad in their activities. Also, the party at that time did not deem it necessary to call on the anti-graft agencies to investigate their activities.
“Also, since the arrest of those cybercrime suspects and the subsequent damage to the image and the economy of Nigeria as well as the crisis it created for Nigerians engaged in lawful businesses across the world, the ruling party had been muted (sic).
“The only time the APC deemed it necessary to make a statement was when it thought it should play dirty, cheap and irresponsible politics.
“Dr. Saraki was the only political leader who has publicly made a statement through an Op-Ed article published in the Daily Trust newspaper of July 1, 2020 titled ‘Cyber Criminals: Confronting The Few Who Dent Many.’
“At this point, we call on the APC leadership to rein in the so-called Yekini Nabena and compel him to desist from making and circulating such malicious, odious and offensive claims.”