N500m bribery allegation: Bauchi ex-deputy speaker denies being quizzed by EFCC

Former Deputy Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon. Saleh Dumba, has denied being quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a bribery allegation.

In his reaction against newspapers’ publication on his arrest over partaking in collection of over N500 million bribe during the 2015 general elections, Dumba said the claim was “wicked, malicious, obnoxious, scandalous, frivolous, scandalous and slanderous.”

He said he rejected with “utter dismay the unsubstantiated and false publication in the 21st July  edition in a section of the media in which it was alleged that he and others were interrogated by the EFCC.”

Reacting through his media consultant, Mr Kemjika Hilary Kemjika, in a release, Dunba said “to add salt to injury, the mendacious and malignant publication said Hon Dumba and others admitted collecting the said amount on behalf of DASS Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders,” adding that “the amount mentioned was incredible and extremely shocking.”

According to Dumba, as stated in the release, “there is no iota or grain of truth in the story,” blaming it on his political opponents, whom he said were strenuously at work to tarnish his remarkable image, tremendously earned over the years before the 2019 general elections, fearing his “towering political clouts” will constitute obstacles for them before 2019.

He said: “What really transpired was that prior to the 2015 elections, the Bauchi State PDP, through Alhaji Garba Dahiru disbursed N12 million to DASS PDP Local Government Area stakeholders for the success of PDP in the general elections.”

Hon. Dumba, who admitted to acting as a witness and signatory to the DASS PDP stakeholders before the money could be released from the state party, said he did not collect, share or benefit from the money.

The former Deputy Speaker affirmed that at no point during his invitation and interrogation by the EFCC did he admit collecting money for election purposes, “the issue of N500 million does not arise,” he said.

He said those interrogated with him before the EFCC exonerated him from benefitting from the money.

Dumba said he had to publicly clarify the issue because the newspaper publication “by the section of the media has caused serious reputational damage,” adding that his political supporters across Nigeria and beyond have called to inquire about the truth of the matter.