Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, over allegations linking him to funds allegedly stolen by anti-corruption chief, Ibrahim Magu.
An online platform, PointBlank News, run by Jackson Ude, a former director of strategy and communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration, on July 8, published that Magu embezzled over N39 billion and gave Osinbajo N4 billion for soft landing.
The report claimed that unnamed sources within the panel investigating the suspended EFCC boss “exposed the vice president’s involvement in the scandal.”
“Specifically, Magu was said to have mentioned a N4 billion that he released to the VP based on directives the very day the president left the country for the United Kingdom on medical treatment,” part of the report read.
It did not give details of which of the president’s numerous medical trips to the United Kingdom it referred to and provided no evidence to back the claim.
In an earlier statement, Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, described the claims as “false and baseless fabrications.”
Osinbajo in a letter to the IGP through his lawyers, Taiwo Osipitan, on Wednesday said the report was untrue and defamatory.
He also copied the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in the letter.
“On the 8th of July 2020, Ude wrote and published on his website www.pointblanknews.com materials/stories which are criminally defamatory of our client. We have the instructions of our client that the said publications are injuriously false in every respect,” the lawyer partly said.
Osinbajo also frowned at Mr Ude’s Twitter publication where he again accused the vice president of corruption.
“HushBajo. N4billion. The Ghana investment. Okechukwu Enelamah the erand boy. The secretly recorded night vigil prayers at the Villa Chapel. The letter of resignation written for Buhari in Tunis by Tinubu/Osinabjo while Ba was sick. The scheming to take over. Etc. This na pay back, the tweet read.
The tweet was said to have been shared on several social media platforms to make the vice president appear like a “dishonest and disloyal public officer and consequently unfit for the position of the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he is occupying,” the official said.
The lawyer asked the IGP to investigate the allegations and if the purveyor was found guilty, the police should initiate criminal proceedings against Mr Ude and his platform to restrain them from future ‘false publications’.
Before now, there have been different unproven reports against Mr Osinbajo in the media.
The Vanguard newspaper in September last year apologised to Osinbajo over a news report alleging that he mismanaged N90 billion said to have been released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 general elections.
The vice president disclosed then that he was ready to wave his constitutionally guaranteed immunity from prosecution to ensure persons who spread falsehood about him were brought to book.
Magu was arrest on Monday afternoon at the Wuse II office of the EFCC and how he was taken directly to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he appeared before a presidential panel investigating alleged corruption and insurbordination.
The allegations were levelled against him by Mr Malami. He accused Mr Magu of insubordination and re-looting of recovered funds.
The two have clashed several times over the years.
On Tuesday, Mr Magu was suspended from office. He is still being detained while the panel investigating allegations against him is still sitting.