13 September 2011, Sweetcrude,Abuja- Senate President David Mark has denied receiving a bribe of $30 million from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2007 as alleged in diplomatic cables released by online whistleblower, Wikileaks.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday said it was difficult to believe that Alhaji Maitama Sule, an elder statesman, would have made the statement ascribed to him by the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, as contained in the Wikileaks report.
Mark described the allegation as “malicious, spurious, wicked and mere fabrication of a mind that is fertile in mischief.”
A secret US diplomatic cable, recently exposed by Wikileaks, revealed that former Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Maitama Sule, had told Sanders that Mark and the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, each pocketed $30 million as their share of the nation’s monthly oil earnings.
But Mark said, “The report has no iota of truth whatsoever as I know nothing about the revenues of the oil sector. It (the report) smacks of absolute falsehood and could not have been associated with me.
“I have no knowledge of any kickback or proceed from the NNPC, neither did I, at any time, in concert with the late President Umaru Musa YarAdua; his wife, Turai and the former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Dimeji Sabur Bankole, engage in corrupt practices or receive kickback of $30 million.”
He noted that the Wikileaks report sounded to him like a rumour “emanating from the market square,” adding that it lacked substance and sound reasoning and should therefore be ignored by every right-thinking person.