The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has once again responded to a report published by Sahara Reporters, saying £32,000 (about N12m at official exchange rate) was being spent in the past by the Nigerian High Commission in the UK as landing fees for private jests of former first ladies.
A statement issued Sunday by Mrs. Buhari’s spokesman, Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi, said even if the said £3,500 (about N1.3m at official exchange rate) was actually spent on her, it should be noted that the High Commission spent as much as £32,000 on each trip made by past first ladies.
“The High Commission has its internal administrative procedure, and it is not within the purview of the wife of the President to ask for diplomatic files.
“Furthermore, that the said memo showed little or no knowledge of Her Excellency’s itinerary proves the simple fact we earlier submitted that she had no direct business with the embassy to warrant the accusation of waste or corruption insinuated in the report.
“Part of the wife of the President’s trips abroad is for her NGO, which is not funded by the Government, and it is not uncommon to have stopover in Britain like any other country as the case may be.
According her, the VIP treatment was simple protocol for a personality of her status, which is done all over the world.
“The High Commission provided the lounge and Hajiya Buhari was not involved in the transaction.
“This is even a far cry from the £32,000 expended in the past as landing fees for private jets of former first ladies.”
She further challenged Sahara Reporters to cross check if the said money (£3,500) spent for whatever reason by the High Commission has any direct link with her.