Presidency Monday rose in defence of Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff, CoS to President Muhammadu Buhari, stating that he never used the funds of the Nigeria High Commission in London to pay his medical bills during a recent visit for emergency medical treatment.
With Documented evidence, online group, SaharaReporters in a report How Buhari’s Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari, Aisha Buhari, Others Bleed Nigeria High Commission In London had detailed the role of the Nigerian High Commission, under Mr. Ogah, frequently authorized payments from revenue generated by the High Commission for medical treatment of senior political officials visiting the United Kingdom.
The funds disbursed for such medical payments come from revenues the High Commission generates through fees for passports, visas and other consular services. The use of such funds for medical payments is an anomaly as medical bills for government officials are already provided for in the Presidency budget.
The report detailed how the Nigerian High Commission paid Mr. Kyari’s medical bill when the president’s chief aide was treated at Wellington Hospital, St. John’s Wood, London, in December 2016. This happened at a time the government blamed its failure to issue passports to UK-resident Nigerians on a lack of funds.
A letter signed by Mr. Ogah and addressed to Professor Paul of Wellington Hospital provides a confirmation of the role of the High Commission in Mr. Kyari’s treatment. Dated December 1, 2016 and titled “Letter of Guarantee In Respect Of Alhaji Abba Kyari,” Mr. Ogah’s letter stated: “I write to confirm that the Nigeria High Commission, London, United Kingdom, will guarantee the payment of all medical bills of Alhaji Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
But these evidential claims all denied by government, also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on the same day attested to the innocence of the CoS. The clarification was sequel to allegations contained in a report by an online news medium recently.
Reacting to the report, the presidency which spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement said the allegations were totally incorrect, misleading and a fabrication.
The statement read thus: “The Nigeria High Commission in London did not at any time ever settle the medical bills or any other bills for that matter as Abba Kyari personally took responsibility for paying his own bills.
“This is by the Chief of Staff’s choice. He pays for his medicals, his taxi and accommodation in the U.K in spite of the high office he occupies, even when there is no rule that says he cannot be catered for by government.