Aisha Buhari denies enjoying undue privileges from Nigerian Commission in UK

Aisha Buhari denies enjoying special privileges from the Nigeria High Commission in London
Aisha Buhari denies enjoying special privileges from the Nigeria High Commission in London.

The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari has distanced herself from a report making the rounds that she engages in abuse of privileges anytime she visits London.

The report by Sahara Reporters hints that every time Aisha visits the UK, the Nigerian High Commission in London spends no less than £7,000 (about N4.2million) for her hospitality.

She had visited the UK on more than seven occasions in 2016, the publication says.

The report also claims Mr. Omolayo Akinfala, a special assistant to Mrs. Buhari, remains on the High Commission’s payroll despite being based in Nigeria and paid by the State House.

Akinfala is said to receive financial perks whenever he visits the UK with Mrs. Buhari.

Aisha, in a statement by Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi, her Special Assistant on Media, has however dismissed the report as baseless and mischievous.

She said all of her visits to UK had been without ties to the Nigerian Commission in London.

The statement read, “The Nigerian Commission in London has never offered any favour, either monetarily or materially, to her (the President’s wife) or her so-called entourage on any of her trips to London.

“The State House in Abuja caters for her meal when necessary, and other healthy food or variety needed by her children are her personal responsibility. 

It is on record that the Nigerian Commission in London does not receive Aisha Buhari at the airport with any official distinction or privileges as was accorded other first ladies before her.

“Her drivers are privately arranged without any recourse to the embassy staff.

“She has never complained or raised dust about any of these acts by the High Commission because of the understanding, as clearly spelled out and practised by her husband, that public office must be separated from the private lives of the occupants.

“She has always been an advocate of good governance where officials of government are responsive and appealing to their constituents. It therefore baffles the imagination  that one could believe she would collaborate with any government official, however highly placed, either at home or abroad, to shortchange the Nigerian people.”

She further challenged the publication to provide concrete evidence to contradict her position as it concerns her trips to London.

Elsewhere in Sahara Reporter‘s report, it accused Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari of enjoying dubious medical expenses under authorization by Adah Simon Ogah, head of the Nigeria High Commission.

The report claims Ogah “frequently authorized payments from revenue generated by the High Commission for medical treatment of senior political officials visiting the United Kingdom, despite that medical bills for government officials are already provided for in the Presidency budget.”