Ex-first ladies spent £32,000 as landing fees – Aisha Buhari
Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Sunday that £32,000 was spent in the past by the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom as landing fees for private jets of former First Ladies.
She said the money spent on the lounge when she visited the UK was a far cry from what was obtainable during the past administrations.
Mrs. Buhari said this in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi.
She was reacting to another report by an online news portal, Sahara Reporters, accusing her of fleecing the Nigerian High Commission and abuse of privilege whenever she travels to the UK.
She said the continuous publication of what she called unfounded stories by the news portal against her was becoming a source of great concern.
She said the “purported internal memo within the Consulate” quoted in the news report had no direct link to her.
The President’s wife said the new allegation had still not substantiated where she made any direct contact with the mission for anything.
The statement read, “The High Commission has its internal administrative procedure, and it is not within the purview of the wife of the President to ask for diplomatic files.
“Furthermore, that the said memo showed little or no knowledge of Her Excellency’s itinerary proves the simple fact we earlier submitted that she had no direct business with the embassy to warrant the accusation of waste or corruption insinuated in the report.
“Part of the wife of the President’s trips abroad are for her NGO, which is not funded by the government, and it is not uncommon to have stopover in Britain like any other country as the case may be.
“According to her, VIP treatment is simple protocol for a personality of her status, which is done all over the world, and at no point was she offered anywhere else.
“The High Commission provided the lounge and Hajiya Buhari was not involved in the transaction.
“This is even a far cry from the £32,000 expended in the past as landing fees for private jets of former first ladies.”
Mrs. Buhari also said attending an international women function with the governors’ wives could not have been linked to the “bogus allegation” of corruption made by Sahara Reporters’ “spurious headline” earlier on as these are approved trips.
She said it would be to the credit of the news portal to carry out a thorough check if the so-called monies (£3,500) spent for whatever reason by the High Commission had any direct link with her.
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