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, a statement by Garba Shehu, President Buahri‘s spokesman said.
Shehu stated that the allegations contained in a report by SaharaReporters are totally incorrect, misleading and a fabrication.
He added that 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,” Shehu said. “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,” he added.
“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,” Shehu’s stated concluded.
According to SaharaReporters’ report;
Our investigators found that the High Commission, under (Simon) Ogah, frequently authorized payments from revenue generated by the High Commission for medical treatment of senior political officials visiting the United Kingdom. The funds disbursed for such medical payments come from revenues the High Commission generates through fees for passports, visas and other consular services. The use of such funds for medical payments is an anomaly as medical bills for government officials are already provided for in the Presidency budget.
Nigerians resident in the UK are unaware that they paid Kyari’s medical bill when the president’s chief aide was treated at Wellington Hospital, St. John’s Wood, London, in December 2016. This happened at a time the government blamed its failure to issue passports to UK-resident Nigerians on a lack of funds.