By Junior Otabono
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has denied owing a private.
The lawmaker was reacting to the insinuations that he either owns a private jet or that he used tax payers money to hire one for his private trip to Delta State for the commissioning of a church built by a member of the House.
According to the Speaker, he did not travel on one of the planes in the presidential fleet, he was told that jets in the presidential fleet were not allowed to fly into the airport in Asaba, the Delta State capital, due to the airport’s poor state. He, however, admitted that a smaller eighth-seater plane was later allocated to him, but that he refused to use it because of the size of his entourage.
A statement signed by Dogara’s his media aide, Turaki Hassan, reads: “The attention of the office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker Yakubu Dogara, has been drawn to a story published by online news portal, Sahara Reporters, about a private visit to Delta State embarked upon by the Speaker.
“We wish to state for the records that Hon. Speaker was invited to Delta State by Evang. Hon. Mrs. J.O. Mrakpor representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State to help commission a church she built.
“Evang. Mrakpor has in the past built three churches and she just finished building the fourth one in her community in fulfillment of the promise she made to God before the 2015 elections that she will build a church for the community if God gives her victory.
“Being a private visit, Mr. Speaker in company of some of his colleagues, including Muslim members of the House, attended the church service where the new church and not just an ‘altar’ was commissioned and prayers were offered for the restoration of peace in Nigeria.
“For the record: Mr. Speaker does not own a private jet. Mr. Speaker personally paid for the cost of the trip to Delta State and did not take a single dime from official coffers, being a private visit.