22 April 2018

Nigeria: Saraki's Aide, Bamikole Omishore, Speaks On Corruption Allegations

Bamikole Omishore, a media aide to Senate President Bukola Saraki, has declined to confirm or deny reports that he fleeced the public treasury using his wife as a ghost worker.

The Punch newspaper reported earlier on Sunday that Mr Omishore, 35, enrolled his wife as a staff of the National Assembly and had been drawing salaries on her name.

The paper said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced criminal investigation after learning that Abiola Omishore lives in the United States where she works as a nurse.

Mr Omishore, a Diaspora affairs aide to the senate president, would neither confirm nor deny the allegations when reached for comments by PREMIUM TIMES Sunday night.

"For the avoidance of doubt, other than speculations and innuendos on pages of papers and websites, neither me nor my wife has received any copy of petition from EFCC or any other security agency. ‬

‪"I will address issues contained in any petition against me when I receive it," he said in a WhatsApp message.

Mr Omishore did not respond to further requests for him to speak on the specific allegations raised against him in the publication.

The story said Mrs Omishore drew N150,000 in monthly ghost-working salaries from taxpayers' money from her base in America. Mr Omishore was also accused of fabricating National Assembly identification credentials for his wife.

Over a three-year period, the accumulated fleece has entered millions, the paper reported. Sometimes the salaries for several months would hit Mrs Omishore's bank account, said to be with GTBank, at once as if clearing backlog.

The allegations were contained in a petition filed against Mr Omishore by anti-corruption campaigners.

Abiola Omishore

Wilson Uwujaren, a spokesperson for the EFCC, confirmed receipt of the petition and said investigations had commenced, the Punch reported.

A former banker in the U.S., Mr Omishore served as a digital media aide to Mr Saraki since 2015, during which he took on critics of his principal. He was named a Diasporan affairs aide in 2017, but he could still be seen releasing press statements on behalf of his principal while pushing back against unfavourable reports against the senate president.

Yusuf Olaniyonu, a spokesperson for Mr Saraki, did not immediately respond yo PREMIUM TIMES request for comments Sunday night.


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