The Presidency has said that a former Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank, Gimba Yau Kumo, declared wanted for $65 million fraud is no longer a son-in-law to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
This is as the Peoples Democratic Party is demanding the probe of Kumo, who got married to Buhari’s daughter in October 2016 in Daura, Katsina State.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission had declared the fugitive wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over alleged misappropriation and dispersion of national housing fund.
The notice published on the ICPC website, was signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua.
Kumo’s tenure at FMBN was characterised by allegations of corruption.
In April, the senate committee on public accounts summoned him to explain the alleged irregular award of N3bn contract when he was still at the bank.
But smarting from the derision and criticisms that followed the media reports on Kumo, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, said the fugitive’s relationship with the President’s daughter ended years ago.
In a statement on Friday, titled, ‘ICPC fugitive is not the President’s in-law,’ Shehu also argued that the move to arrest Kumo was an affirmation that “our anti-corruption agencies/institutions are truly independent and allowed unfettered freedom by the President.”
The statement read, “A running story to the effect that the ICPC haas declared “an in-law of the President” wanted in connection with fraud involving the large sum of money USD65 million to be exact.
“This should normaly be an affirmation that our anti-corruption agencies/institutions are truly independent and allowed unfettered freedom by the President. Which infact is the case.
“That a state institution can issue such is a measure of the administration’s commitment to accountability, equality and justice.
“To set the records straight, the person declared wanted by the ICPC is not an in-law to President Buhari.
“While at some point in time, the said fugitive from justice had been linked to a family member in marriage, that relationship has ended some years ago.
“It is therefore unfortunate to bring the President’s family into this case. It is in our view, an attempt to generate views and sell copies of sensational reporting.”
The statement further said the President’s position at all times was that the law be allowed to take its course.
“As is well known of him, President Muhammadu Buhari will not provide any cover for crime, no matter who is involved,” Shehu stressed.
The opposition party said the alleged involvement of a son-in-law to the President in the alleged heist was further confirmation that the Buhari Presidency is “a sanctuary for fraudsters, treasury looters and common criminals.”
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘$65m Fraud: Track Down Buhari’s Son in-law, PDP Charges ICPC…Urges Presidency to Allow For Open Investigation,’ signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Friday.
The PDP said, “The latest revelation of $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria , in which President Muhammadu Buhari’s son in-law, Gimba Kumo, is reportedly involved, further confirms that the Buhari Presidency is indeed a sanctuary for fraudsters, treasury looters and common criminals.
“The ICPC should not succumb to reported pressure from the cabal in the Buhari Presidency but track down Yau Kumo, the former Managing Director of the FMBN, who had already been declared wanted, and bring him to book alongside his accomplices.
“It speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency had remained silent in the face of this huge fraud involving Mr. President’s son in-law; a beneficiary of the primitive family patronage in the Buhari administration, only for certain members of the cabal to be reportedly mounting pressure on the ICPC to let him off the hook.”
The party accused the ruling All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of wickedness.
It said the administration was denting millions of hardworking Nigerians basic necessities due to its misrule and corruption, “reports of which have become a daily occurrence.”
IThe statement further read, “It is even more distressing that the looted FMBN money is part of funds contributed by Nigerians to meet their home needs which has instead fallen under the predatory proclivities of the APC administration.”
The party asserts that Nigerians can now see that while the Buhari Presidency parades a “holier than thou attitude”, the nation’s vaults have been laid open for the ruthless pillaging by family members, relations, cronies in the Buhari Presidency.
However, the Buhari Media Organisation said the PDP was the least qualified to speak about the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari-led Administration.
The Chairman of the organisation, Niyi Akinsiju, said, “The 16 years the PDP spent in power were years of waste, corruption was the order of the day and it was treated as a family affair.”