31 October 2013, Abuja – The Chairman, Presidential Declaration Committee, Dr. Haliru Bello, on Friday described as false, reports making the rounds that he was indicted for allegedly receiving monetary gifts from a German telecommunication company, SIEMENS, when he was Minister of Communications.
He also faulted reports which advised President Goodluck Jonathan on the “irrelevance” of Vice President Namadi Sambo to the presidential re-election campaign because of his alleged lack of electoral value.
Bello’s position was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa.
Nkwankpa insisted that Bello had nothing to do with the SIEMENS alleged bribery scandal either in person or by proxy.
He said the ex-minister had never met or heard of Mr. Siekaczek, and neither has any personal relationship with Mr. Siedel.
The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, Dr. Bello did not, at any time, receive any amount, whatsoever, from these men or anybody purportedly acting on their behalf.
“It should be noted that there was no reason for Siemens to bribe Dr. Bello as a Minister of Communications, as NITEL, to which Siemens was a contractor, was already under the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises in preparation for its sale, under the auspices of the National Council of Privatisation.
“It is significant to state that Dr. Bello went through security screening and was cleared before Senate confirmed his appointment as Minister of Defence in 2011.”
He said contrary to the reports, Bello and Sambo have made invaluable contributions to the Peoples Democratic Party and the development of Nigeria, in general.
He said those who were questioning the electoral value of the Vice President have deliberately ignored the fact that Sambo won the governorship election in Kaduna State in 2007 and would have won a second term easily in 2011 but for the fact that God had designed a higher position for him.
The statement added, “He (Sambo) led the PDP to victory in the governorship election in Kaduna State in 2011 and mobilised the highest votes for PDP in the presidential election, which was the highest in the states of the North (1, 190, 179; 46.9% of the total votes cast) against Buhari’s 1,334,244.
“Facts are sacred and they, clearly, do not support the hollow claims. Namadi Sambo has been a loyal, discreet and efficient Vice President, who has managed his position with great dignity in the last four years or so.
“He has proven to be a consummate team player and has contributed, in no small measure, to perhaps the most cohesive and peaceful Presidency in Nigeria’s democratic history. He is, indeed, an asset.”
He added that those peddling the falsehood would be known by their fruits.
– The Punch