Osinbajo remains silent on his ‘broil with Buhari’s men’, By Kings UBA
For some weeks now, there have been some unease over the actual position of Yemi Osinbajo in the scheme of things at Nigeria’s Presidential Villa. Some people had read meaning into the disbandment of the Economic Management Team headed by VP Osinbajo the removal from him, of some agencies that reported to the VP.
During the inauguration of the Ministers, Buhari also instructed them to pass through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari to see him. Speculations are rife that Buhari and his cabal are working to whittle down the powers of the VP. For some weeks running, Osinbajo has not come to either dispel the ‘rumour’ or own it. In 2017, when similar rumours rented the air, Osinbajo stepped out and claimed that Buhari treated him like a son, that there was not bad blood within them.
But in the present situation, Osinbajo has not made any comment to say that his alleged broil with the president’s men are only in the figment of the writers’ imaginations.
Instead, the VP has taken on the twin allegation of receiving political support from Nigeria’s top revenue agency.
Osinbajo says he will waive his constitutional protection from prosecution in a bid to clear his name over corruption allegations.
He had been accused by another politician of taking $250m (£200m) from the tax service to fund an election campaign, the Punch newspaper reports.
In a tweet, the vice-president called the allegation a “malicious falsehood”:
The vice president was reacting to claims made by a former APC official, Timi Frank, that the Federal Inland Revenue Service provided campaign funds for Mr Osinbajo during the 2019 elections.
“In the past few days, a spate of reckless and malicious falsehoods have been peddled in the media against me by a group of malicious individuals. The defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique have been making the social media rounds anonymously,” Mr Osinbajo said.
“I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals, one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.
“I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood.”
He also said he would take legal action against those who have put their names to the “odious falsehoods”, adding that “the defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique have been making the social media rounds anonymously”.
Nigeria’s tax authorities said on Monday that no money had been taken to fund an election campaign, Punch reports.
In 2017, Osinbajo promptly reacted to insinuations of misalignment. According to a series of tweets posted on the Twitter handle of his spokesman, Laolu Akande, @akandeoj, the Ag. President spoke at the palace of Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumin Usman, during his visit to the state for the inauguration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic.
“I feel very much at home in Katsina. More so, because this is the state of the President who has taken me as a brother.
“In fact, the President has taken me as a son in the way he treats me,” Akande quoted the 60-year-old Osinbajo as saying about the 74-year-old President.
“The amount of responsibilities President Buhari has given me shows he seriously believes we can live together as brothers.
“I pray the Lord will preserve our President to continue to lead as the nation has voted him to do. He seriously believes in Nigerian unity,” he added.
Osinbajo was further quoted to have restated the Federal Government’s commitment to the ease of doing business in the country.
Lately, it has been in the news that Nigeria’s Vice President is getting it raw with his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari.