Dimeji Bankole denies Wikileaks statement
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, today denied ever accusing Supreme Court Justices of collecting bribes. In a statement released via his communications adviser, Mr. Bankole said that it was a "lie" that he had a 2-hour meeting with the American Ambassador as stated in the leaked diplomatic cable. He did admit to having met the US ambassador but only in the presence of other House leaders. The Speaker challenged the American authorities to prove " the wild allegations that strike at the integrity of Nigerian judicial institution and its foremost anti-corruption agencies."
The attention of the Office of Speaker, House of Representatives has been drawn to the publication in some media quoting "Wikileaks"
alleging that Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Speaker of House of Representatives says that Supreme Court judges took bribes to validate Yar'Adua/Jonathan election as well as describing EFCC as "not worth a penny"!
We deny in strongest terms that Speaker Bankole ever made such allegations or statement against respected justices of the Supreme Court and the anti-corruption agency, EFCC in any meeting with the then US Ambassador, Ms. Robin Sanders. The official meeting Ms.
Sanders had with Mr. Speaker was in presence of leadership of the House and did not last more than 20 minutes. It is a lie that Mr. Speaker had a two hour private meeting with Ms. Sanders
The Office of the Speaker challenges US officials to authenticate this wild allegations that strike at the integrity of Nigeria judicial institution and its foremost anti-corruption agencies.
It is an open an open secret the cordial relationship that existed between the late President Yar'Adua and the Speaker aside the fact that he is part of the Yar'adua government. He could not have made an allegation against the justices which impugn on the Yar'adua government.
We are however surprised that any Nigerian medium could give credence to and publish what in essence could be mere gossip and unconfirmed summary of diplomats trying to get a grip of issues on-going in their host countries for their home government.
We want to counsel media organizations that such sensational allegations bordering on crime against the highest judicial officers of the land and its foremost anticorruption agencies should be handled more responsibly with full and verifiable authentication from all parties in the interest of protecting the institution of judiciary, the last hope of the common man.
Chief Kayode Odunaro
Special Adviser (Communications)
Speaker, House of Representatives