First lady dissociates self from arrest
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed that the agency is currently investigating an Aide De Camp (ADC) to the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari over allegations of fraud to the tune of over N2.5 billion.
The ADC, one Sani Baba-Inna, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), is being investigated over report that he received huge cash donations from politicians and business people on behalf of the president’s wife, which he kept to himself.
But Mrs. Buhari has distanced herself from the arrest of Baban-Inna.
Spokesperson of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, who spoke with THISDAY on telephone, however would not want to confirm if the suspect was in the custody of the DSS.
He simply replied that, “Police have asked us to investigate the matter and we are investigating it.”
It was gathered that Mrs. Buhari had asked the police to arrest her ADC, after accusing him of defrauding her of the said amount.
She was said to have requested the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest and compel Baba-Inna to refund the money. Consequently, the police swooped on the aide and got him arrested last Friday.
However, Mrs. Buhari has distanced herself from the arrest of Baban-Inna. According to her, Baban-Inna’s employers, the Nigeria Police Force, arrested him to investigate the allegations leveled against him.
In a statement by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna, she said she has never sent any of her staff to collect any favours on her behalf or on behalf of her children and will never do so.
She also stressed that she will not condone any fraudulent behavior by any of her staff.
The statement read: “The attention of wife of the president, Mrs. Buhari has been drawn to some media publications and releases purporting illegal detention of her ADC over allegations of fraud.
“The story as it pertains to her ADC, Baban-Inna has it that he has been detained on the orders of Her Excellency for dropping her name and defrauding unsuspecting officials and associates.
“She wishes to use this opportunity to refute such allegation and to state that she has no hand in his arrest and detention.
“Baban-Inna has been her ADC since 2016 and has been associated with her ever since. To the utter dismay of Her Excellency, he has used the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials as initial investigations have shown. “The Nigeria Police Force, his employers arrested him to investigate the allegations leveled against him, this, being within their jurisdiction.
“She therefore wishes to use this opportunity to inform the public that she has never sent any of her staff to collect any favours on her behalf or on behalf of her children and will never do so. She is therefore imploring anyone that has been defrauded by Baban-Inna to get across to him to retrieve whatever he took from them. Mrs. Buhari wishes to reiterate that she will not condone fraudulent behavior by any of her staff.
“She uses this opportunity to call on all those in positions of authority to rise above intimidation by their aides and deal with such attitudes as extortion by name-dropping, especially within the Presidency. As she always emphasises, this government was voted into office based on the trust and confidence of the people,” it stated.