‘I Didn't Import Any Vehicle’, Saraki Defends Self Before Ethics Committee


Senate President Bukola Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki has denied any involvement with the importation of a N370million bulletproof sport utility vehicle (SUV) allegedly belonging to the senate.
Saraki made this known when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions at the National Assembly on Monday.

The Senate President was answering questions on allegations that he evaded payment of customs duty on the said vehicle.

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) impounded the vehicle in January after discovering that the documents used in clearing it were forged.

Saraki in a statement, said he did not import the SUV nor involve any agent on his behalf, adding that there was no document linking him with the said vehicle.

The Senate President, who described the allegation as a smear campaign, stated that the senate will continue to protect itself against those who are bent on ridiculing its reputation for political gains.

The statement reads: “As the President of the 8th Senate and Senator from Kwara Central, I am proud of the Senate as an institution and its Constitutional role to represent the interests of the Nigerian people.

“Further, I am proud to honor and respect the Senate Rule Book that guides our conduct and activities, which is why today I am presenting myself before the Nigerian Senate Committee.

“We must continue to strenghten all our Institutions so that they can carry out their mandates. This is preferable and beneficial than strengthening individuals.

“We must find ways to guard the institution and ourselves against those who wish to diminsh or rubbish institutional and individual’s reputation because of 5 minutes of fame. They try to bring everyone else down while grandstanding.

“I did not import any vehicle, I did not ask anybody to act on my behalf. The vehicle is not my personal car.

“We raised the issue on the customs policy based on interest of Nigerians. But those who want to fight the Senate for raising the issue against the retroactive application if the newly introduced policy on duty, chose to fight back using this channel. I urge the ethics committee to protect this institution of the Senate so that it is not ridiculed for political reasons.”

Many believe the row between the Senate and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Hameed Ali, brought about this allegation.
Source: https://thewhistler.ng/story/i-didn-t-import-any-vehicle-saraki-defends-self-before-ethics-committee

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