Senator Barata finally speaks, says he was never detained in Saudi Arabia

Senator Hassan Barata, a former chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, has finally reacted to allegation that he was detained in Saudi Arabia.

He denied media reports that he was arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia over false claims.

A report by The Nation said that when Barata was arrested and questioned, he claimed to be an employee of the Nigerian Embassy, a claim which was later found to be false.

Barata described the report as a calculated attempt to tarnish his image and reputation.

Barata, who spoke on Sunday in an interview at his Apo Legislative quarters in Abuja, said since leaving the Senate, he has not been to Saudi Arabia and could not have been arrested or detained in a country he never visited.

“I saw the publication and I was so surprised. I am here speaking with you now. I am still in shock. If somebody was detained in Saudi Arabia, can he sit here with you? Yesterday (Friday), I was in Kaduna with my governor, his Excellency the Adamawa State governor for the northern Governors’ Forum meeting. A lot of people were surprised about the report.

“Since the end of my tenure, I have never been to Saudi Arabia because after my tenure, I decided to rest. I have not even travelled to Cameroun. I have been here in Nigeria. Except where it becomes mandatory, I don’t put any of my visa on the red passport unless it is a must because I want my passport to be rich.

“After leaving the office, if I want to get visa somewhere, my green passport will be with me. But the moment you return your red passport, you don’t have any record except those that are new comers. I have been in the National Assembly since 1999, so I know what is good for me. And this is not my first time of holding public office. I have been in the National Assembly since 1992. So, I know what is good for me”.

He described the report as politically motivated just to rubbish his name.

“It is a political calculation. What I discovered in this country now is that people found out that President Buhari doesn’t like corrupt or dishonest people, so, anytime they discover that you are clean, they try to destroy you. This is because from the way I see the statement, it is purely political. Because if somebody was detained in Saudi Arabia, what brought about the issue of the person defecting to the PDP?” .


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