Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has distanced himself from Hushpuppi after the ruling All Progressives Congress APC called for an investigation into his alleged links with the suspected fraudster who was recently arrested in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the United States.
APC in a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena today July 4, called on the relevant security agencies to investigate the links Hushpuppi had with some PDP stalwarts.
The party said the investigation is necessary considering the fact that many of PDP chieftains had several meetings in Dubai ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The statement read in part:
”That 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.” APC’s statement read. In a swift reaction, Saraki in a statement released by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described as irresponsible and cheap politics the statement from APC in which it tried to link him with Hushpuppi. Saraki in the statement said he has no form of association with the said suspect, Ramon Abbas otherwise known as Hushpuppi and neither does he know him in any way.
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“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 cyber crime 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.
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” and this opinion article had been widely circulated online and on other platforms.
In that article, he strongly condemned the activities of these cyber criminals and called on the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to make decisive interventions to checkmate their activities. He has also got a research institution, the Politeia Institute, whose board he chairs to commence a research on the best ways to tackle the menace. Such a noble intervention in tackling a menace is what Dr. Saraki believes in, not mudslinging and playing politics at the expense of the nation’s image. 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”, the statement concluded.