The embattled finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has “seen” President Muhammadu Buhari thrice since her certificate forgery scandal was exposed, a presidential aide said on Friday.
Mr Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, stated this in a statement his office sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
“Mrs Adeosun had seen President Buhari not fewer than three times earlier in the week, and did not need to meet with him again on Friday,” he said in the statement.
Mr Adesina’s statement comes amidst the silence by the presidency on the certificate scandal first exclusively reported by PREMIUM TIMES.
The story showed how the minister has been presenting a forged NYSC certificate to secure jobs including her present role as finance minister, in violation of Nigerian laws.
Since the forgery was revealed last Saturday, Mrs Adeosun, like President Buhari, has kept mum on the issue.
Without making direct reference to the certificate scandal, Mr Adesina tried to downplay Mrs Adeosun’s presence at Mr Buhari’s office on Friday.
He also said reports that Mrs Adeosun met Mr Buhari in company of a cleric, Tunde Bakare, was not true.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier published how Mr Bakare clarified that his private meeting with Mr Buhari had nothing to do with Mrs Adeosun.
Mr Bakare, an old ally of the president, was his running mate in the 2011 presidential elections.
Read Mr Adesina’s full Friday statement below.
“Stories with insinuations are making the rounds that Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly and Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, met together with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja, Friday. Far from the truth.”
The Minister was at the Presidential Villa in connection with the Annual General Meeting and 25th Anniversary Celebration of African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) holding Saturday in Abuja, which would be graced by President Buhari.
“She ran into Pastor Bakare, who was on a scheduled visit to see the President, and they exchanged pleasantries. The cleric particularly thanked the Minister for finding time to attend his mother’s funeral, which took place in Abeokuta, Ogun State, penultimate weekend.
“Mrs Adeosun had seen President Buhari not fewer than three times earlier in the week, and did not need to meet with him again on Friday.
“This statement is to put events in proper perspective, and dispel all conjectures and fictive reporting.