*How Buhari stemmed arrest of Kyari
Had the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who stormed on Monday the seat of power, Aso Roack, that may have meant a new leaf in the anti-corruption fight.
The seat of the Nigerian Presidency, was penultimate Sunday, thrown into a frenetic panic, following an alarm by Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, that he was about to be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr Kyari, who has been named in a number of corruption cases, said sources, told, Presidency officials that his residence at Defence House in Abuja was ordered invaded by Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting EFCC Chairman.
The Chief of Staff was said to have also quickly notified the Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Mr. Lawan Daura, of the impending arrest.
Daura immediately deployed a platoon of DSS officers to stop Magu from carrying out the arrest. There has been a record of inter-agency conflicts in attempts to arrest suspects between the organisations.
The DSS officers, however, were stiffly resisted by soldiers guarding the Presidential Villa and its environs. The DSS officers were ordered back by the soldiers, who were said to have told them that they needed express permission to come to the Presidential Villa. The stand-off provoked more panic in Kyari, who believed that the arrest might have been ordered by the President.
Magu was in the Lagos office of the commission to attend to the issue of jail break which occurred on the 31st December when he was summoned by President Buhari for a briefing on Monday. On arrival for the briefing by the President, Presidency disclosed that President Buhari was said to have been angry that the EFCC was planning to arrest his Chief of Staff without his knowledge.
Magu was said to have told the President he had not ordered a raid on Kyari’s residence, but won’t disclose if there was investigation being conducted on him.
Alternative sources however disclosed that the EFCC has a series of petitions against the Chief of Staff, with the petitioners calling for his removal. The President, however, has ignored all the indicting petitions.
State House Medical Centre: The most recent of the grave allegations against Kyari was the issue of the State House Medical Centre. There was a revelation by the President Buhari’s daughter and wife concerning the rot inside the State House Medical Centre. The centre is under the supervision of the chief of staff, Abba Kyari and the presidential cabal.
President Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari, had raised concerns of the appropriation of the funds earmarked for drug purchase and maintenance of the facility. It was revealed that in 2015, the clinic received N3.94billion. In 2016, the allocation was N3.87billion. For the 2017 budget year, the clinic got N3.2billion – totalling N10.98billion.
The House of Representatives reacted to announce the start of an investigation – to investigate the pathetic state of the State House Clinic in Abuja.
Jalal Arabi: On the first level, the Permanent Secretary to the State House Jalal Arabi – who it was gathered was not qualified for the post of Permanent Secretary having failed the necessary examinations for the position of Director – was placed at the position of Permanent Secretary nonetheless. His daughter is married to the son of Abba Kyari’s younger brother, Senator Kyari. The Chief of Staff is by the rule his in-law. That was how he was foisted to become Permanent Secretary and thus, posted to the State House.
Adamu Mua’zu: A former governor of Bauchi State and former national chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP), interestingly, was the one who recommended Jalal Arabi for the position of Permanent Secretary. Mua’zu’s sister is married to Jalal Arabi. While Mua’zu was the governor of Bauchi State, Abba Kyari was given a palatial house in Bauchi at Government Quarters by Mu’azu.
Through the intertwined relationships, the cabal took unholy control over the management of the affairs at the state house – in addition to the backing from the chief of staff, Abba Kyari, in tandem with President’s nephew, Mamman Daura, the Permanent Secretary’s alleged corrupt activities go virtually unchecked.
“Jalal Arabi makes steady returns to Mu’azu and to Senator Kyari” claims a former serving senator who is in the know of the inner workings of the state house. How far this is true is another issue. The former senator made bold that virtually all contract awards are awarded to themselves in the same manner the suspended SGF [Secretary to the Government of the Federation], Lawal Babachir awarded fictitious contracts to himself.
War chest for 2019 elections: The source in the presidency revealed that the cabal’s activities are supposedly hinged around the preparation for 2019 presidential election. How much this is true is another matter for another day. Amassing financial resources against the presidential elections and other legislative races. The anti-graft agencies have been accused of being aware of the illegal activities but have decided to look the other way. May be Magu for once decides to look this other way now.
The opponents accused the acting Chairman of EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) as having been compromised and unable to checkmate the slew of corrupt activities taking place within the State House.
While the EFCC acting chairman maintains an awkward silence, patients at the State House Medical Centre groan over lack of drugs and equipment at the facility. The clinic which is meant to serve Nigeria’s president, vice president and their families as well as employees of the Presidency and other privileged individuals, cannot provide common drugs and other items such as paracetamol, Vitamin B-complex, cotton wools and syringe.
Empty State House clinic: Sources at the clinic revealed that the last time drugs and other consumables were supplied was in April 2017.
According to published reports, a patient recently diagnosed with low Packed Cell Volume (PCV) said he was told that there were no folic acid, fersolate tablet and vitamin B-Complex at the centre. Another patient recalled that he had to go to Garki Hospital for a malaria test few weeks ago because he was told that the laboratory at the State House clinic did not have “the tools for the blood test.”
A female patient stated: “Doctors and nurses at the State House hospital do their work, they prescribe drugs, but when you get to the pharmacy, you are told there are no drugs. Recently when I was asked to do a leg x-ray, I was told the machine was not working.”
“Seriously, this hospital lacks drugs and equipment. My wife gave birth and I was asked to go out and buy everything needed for the delivery totalling N7,500. I have the receipts with me. President Buhari should look into this and help us out,” another patient said.
It took the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, to the facility for Nigerians and the National Assembly to become aware of the deplorable state of the clinic.
The National Assembly investigation is yet to be release about how the facility utilised the N10.98billion budgeted for its operations since 2015. The EFCC arrest may have been held in abeyance for now giving Kyari a temporary relief.