Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has denied that he bribed the Kano State House of Assembly to drop the allegation against the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
The state House of Assembly had removed its Speaker, Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, over allegations that he collected the bribe money and did nt give the House members.
Spokesman of Dangote Group, Mr. Tony Chiejina, said the allegation had no foundation whatsoever and was an ‘outright falsehood”.
Dangote was alleged to have given Rurum N100 million to drop a probe of Emir Sanusi.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had said the assembly was prevailed upon by well-meaning Nigerians, led by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, to drop the investigation of the Emir over allegations of financial misdeed.
Responding to the allegation in an interview on June 20, Rurum described the story as false, designed to tarnish his image and bring the whole assembly into disrepute.
He gave DailyNigeria.com which first published the story one week within which to retract the report and apologise to the assembly or face legal action.
According to him, the report is also targetted at creating tension and chaos among the lawmakers and ridicule the personality of Dangote.
`The story was just a fabrication, a tissue of lies and unjustifiable, because there was never a time I met with Dangote to discuss such issue, not to talk of him offering bribe to us.”
He said that the intervention of Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Northern Governors and other notable Nigerians to stop the probe was channeled through the governor and not the assembly.
“It is a tradition that when such things happened, the governor gets in touch with us as one of the three arms of government.
“Therefore, the governor forwarded his request letter appealing for the suspension of the investigation on behalf of all the concerned citizens.”
Chiejina said on Monday night that the allegation “has been embarrassing to Dangote”.
“Aliko Dangote does not even know the embattled Speaker, Hon. Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, let alone being his friend as alleged by the report,” Chiejina said.
Meanwhile, the Kano Assembly has asked a five-man committee to investigate the allegations against Rurum.
The new Speaker, Alhaji Abdullahi Atta, proposed the investigation at the plenary.
It was unanimously accepted by the House.
Atta gave the committee, which has as the chairman, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Assembly, Alhaji Muhammad Butu-Butu, a member representing Rimin Gado/Tofa Constituency, three months to submit its report.
The former speaker had, in his resignation letter, said he resigned to protect his image and that of his constituency over the corruption allegations.
Rurum told newsmen after the plenary session that he had urged his colleagues to be fair and just while conducting their investigation.