According to investigations, Alhaji Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari, is under investigation by the Special Investigation Panel of the Nigerian Police Force over bribery allegations.
According to Vanguard, the is in connection with alleged N500million bribe said to have been paid to Mr. Kyari by officials of South African owned MTN Telecommunications Company.
The bribe was to so the CoS would influence the government to discontinue its heavy stance on the $5billion fine imposed on the company.
It will be recalled that the NCC, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, slammed a $5 billion fine on MTN for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered phone lines bought before January 2012.
However, following the frustrations of the telecommunications giant’s bid to fight the huge fine imposition, firstly through the courts and later through diplomatic means, an online media (Sahara Reporters) published a report on 20th September 2016, stating that officials of MTN gave a bribe of N500million to Alhaji Abba Kyari, to intervene and use his closeness to President Buhari, to influence the federal government to give MTN a safe landing.
Worried by the allegation, the Presidency is said to have directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to investigate the allegation and come out with findings regarding the accusation.
However, sources close to the investigation panel told Vanguard that after days of investigation, all attempts to get the publishers of Sahara reporters to come forward and avail it with evidence of the N500million bribe; when it was given, where and how the money was collected, has proved abortive.
Firstly, the source who spoke under condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said the fact that the online medium is based in the United States has not helped matters.
“Officials of MTN, who were invited and interviewed over the allegation, have vehemently denied that any such money emanated from the telecommunication company and that since the beginning of the $5billion fine saga, nobody had been approached for bribe”.
“Another thing is that if such volume of money was paid through the banks, discreet investigation of financial dealings on the part of MTN and on the part of the COS has so far not revealed any transactions of such”.