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Tuesday 10 January 2017

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The presidency has denied a publication by Sahara Reporters where it alleged that the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, used funds from the Nigeria High Commission in the UK to settle his medical bills during his last visit to the country in December last year.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Shehu Garba, denied the claims in a statement released on social media. The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, did not use the funds of the Nigeria High Commission in London to pay his medical bills during his recent visit for emergency medical treatment.

The allegations contained in a report published by an online news medium, are totally incorrect, misleading and a fabrication. The Nigeria High Commission in London did not at any time ever settle the medical bills or any other bills for that matter as Abba Kyari personally took responsibility for paying his own bills.

This is by the Chief of Staff's choice. He pays for his medicals, his taxi and accommodation in the U.K in spite of the high office he occupies, even when there is no rule that says he cannot be catered for by government. For the records, Kyari was rushed out of Nigeria for an emergency medical treatment on the fateful December 1, 2016. To receive him on arrival, the Wellington Hospital needed to have cash deposited, or in the absence of this, a letter of guarantee.

In order to meet this condition, the Nigeria High Commission in London wrote the Letter of Guarantee to the hospital for treatment to commence. The role of the High Commission didn't involve financial commitments on behalf of Kyari. The Letter of Guarantee from the High Commission was meant to meet the routine requirements of the Wellington Hospital since the patient in question (Kyari) didn't possess the UK National Health Insurance. Apart from senior government officials, other reputable Nigerians are issued with such guarantee letters to hospitals.

A guarantor is not liable unless there is a default, but this wasn't the case with Abba Kyari who paid all his medical bills by himself as he had done on previous occasions. Hospital records are available for verification to show that the Nigeria High Commission in London didn't spend a penny on Kyari, as its involvement didn't go beyond the issuance of the letter of guarantee to the Wellington Hospital.

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