By Soni Daniel & Johnbosco Agbakwuru, with Agency reports
ABUJA—The Department of State Service, DSS, has detained Aide-De-Camp, ADC, of wife of the
President, Hajia Aisha Buhari, over alleged N2.5 billion fraud.
However, Hajia Buhari, in a statement released from her office said she did not order her ADC’s arrest, though dismayed that he has defrauded “unsuspecting associates and officials as initial investigations have shown.”
Reacting further yesterday, wife of the President distanced herself from the arrest and detention of her Aide De Camp, ADC, Sani Baban-Inna, saying she has no hands in his travails.
Aisha Buhari dismayed
The President’s wife also said she was dismayed by the revelation from initial investigations by security operatives that have shown that CSP Baban-Inna who had been her ADC since 2016 and had been associated with her, could use the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials.
Mrs. Buhari in a statement by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna in Abuja yesterday, said the arrest and detention of the ADC by the police was within the jurisdiction of the force.
The statement read: “The attention of wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has been drawn to some media publications and releases purporting illegal detention of her Aide De Camp, ADC, over allegations of fraud.
“The story as it pertains to her ADC, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Sani Baban-Inna has it that he has been detained on the orders of Her Excellency for dropping her name and defrauding unsuspecting officials and associates.
“She wishes to use this opportunity to refute such allegation and to state that she has no hands in his arrest and detention.
“CSP Sani Baban-Inna has been her ADC since 2016 and has been associated with her ever since. To the utter dismay of Her Excellency, he has used the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials as initial investigations have shown.”
Justifying that the police acted within their powers, she said: “The Nigeria Police Force, his employers arrested him to investigate the allegations leveled against him, this being within their jurisdiction.
“She, therefore, wishes to use this opportunity to inform the general public that she has never sent any of her staff to collect any favours on her behalf or on behalf of her children and will never do so.
‘’She is, therefore, imploring anyone that has been defrauded by Mr. Baban-Inna to get across to him to retrieve whatever he took from them. Mrs. Buhari wishes to reiterate that she will not condone fraudulent behaviour by any of her staff.
“She uses this opportunity to call on all those in positions of authority to rise above intimidation by their aides and deal with such attitudes as extortion by name-dropping, especially within the Presidency. As she always emphasizes, this government was voted into office based on the trust and confidence of the people.
How ADC landed in trouble
According to online portal, Premium Times, trouble started for the ADC, Sani Baba-Inna, a Chief Superintendent of Police, after Hajia Buhari invited the Police to investigate him over claims that he allegedly diverted money collected in the name of the President’s wife.
One of Mrs Buhari’s aides had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over
the alleged fraud, propelling the President’s wife to ask that he be arrested for receiving huge donations from politicians and business people on her behalf and then keeping the cash for himself.
Consequently, the ADC was arrested Friday and had remained in police detention ever since.
It is unclear how the President’s wife came about the allegation, but a source said another aide working for Mrs Buhari originated the claim.
A source said the ADC strongly denied the allegation, saying he received no donation from anyone on behalf of his boss.
Another source said: “The IG said the matter must be investigated immediately and the house of the ADC was raided.
“Shockingly, investigators only found N1,200 cash in the house. His bank account was also investigated and had only a balance of N30,000, while the transaction records showed that most credits to the account were his salaries and allowances.”
The Police, it was gathered, concluded that Mrs Buhari must have been wrongly informed as there was nothing to show or prove that such huge sum of money was in the custody of the ADC, Mr Baba-Inna.
An associate of Mr. Baba-Inna said the Police contacted those named as donors of the controversial funds but noted that they all denied making the donations attributed to them.
“For instance, one of those named was the IG of Police himself but the IG said he has never passed any money through Baba-Inna,’’ the source said.
It was learned when Mrs Buhari was informed of the outcome of police investigation, she flared up, accusing the Police of colluding “to protect one of their own.”
It was at this time the DSS was invited to take over the case to get back the money.
DSS operatives take custody of ADC
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said he was not aware of the case.
Spokesperson of wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna, said although he heard about the matter, he was trying to get details from Mrs Buhari, who he said was currently in New York with her husband for UN’s 73rd General Assembly.
Confirming the ADC’s detention, spokesman for the DSS, Mr. Peter Afunanya, said he was handed over to the agency by the police.
“We took custody of the ADC for further investigation, having been transferred to us by the Police. It is true that he is with us and we are going to carry out our investigation,” the spokesman said but did not give further details.
A member of the ADC’s family also disclosed that the DSS allowed his wife, Hassana, to meet him yesterday.
Meanwhile, indications emerged yesterday that Police Headquarters has invited the person who wrote the petition on behalf of Mrs. Buhari.
A source privy to the matter told Vanguard that the brain behind the petition had been invited by the Police in Abuja to give details of the allegation.
According to the source, “the person that wrote the petition on behalf of the First Lady is already at the Police Headquarters right now.”