By Alike Ejiofor
The Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation last night accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of spreading fake and unsubstantiated allegation of corrupt practices against President Muhammadu Buhari to divert attention from Atiku’s alleged record of corruption and abuse of office.
In a statement issued by the spokesman of the organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, the group stated that Nigerians cannot and should not be insulted by the PDP after 16 years of looting of the country, by now putting forward a man whose record of corruption they very much acknowledge.
The statement titled, “When the thief is shouting ‘thief’: The case of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,” highlighted what the Buhari campaign group described as some of the indisputable facts regarding Atiku Abubakar.
The campaign organisation cited the report of the US Congress titled, “Keeping Foreign Corruption out of the United States: Four Case Histories,” which allegedly featured Atiku’s case as one of the four notorious cases of money laundering in the world.
Quoting the report, Buhari Campaign Organisation said, “Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, a US citizen, is the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria and a former candidate for the Presidency of Nigeria…… from 2000 to 2008, Ms. Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd”.
According to the organisation, Atiku’s co-conspirators – Williams Jefferson and Siemens in the bribery deal were convicted and Jefferson went to jail.
By running for President of Nigeria, the group argued that Atiku intends to get some immunity from prosecution.
“Already he is hoping to obtain a visa to visit the US, as a guest of the State Department, a concession that the US will grant to a presidential candidate of Africa’s biggest nation,” the organisation added.
Buhari’s campaign team also stated that both the BBC and Voice of America reported that “In a probe ordered by Obasanjo, (then Nigerian president) the vice-president was accused of diverting $125 million from a public development trust fund into his personal businesses.”
The organisation also recalled that a Senate subcommittee investigating the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) had indicted Atiku, having found that he abused his office by aiding and abetting the diversion of public funds in the sum of $145 million” as loans to his friends.
“This report was a subject of a full-blown investigation by the EFCC, which actually recommended his prosecution in a court of law. That report is still pending and alive till today,” Keyamo said.
According to the organisation, no amount of fake news or ridiculous false allegations against the president or vice president can wash away the well-documented history of theft.
The group challenged the PDP to publish a single line in the sub-committee recommendation
“We also challenge them to show any proof whatsoever of their allegations regarding the TraderMoni,” the group said.
“After three days of publicly announcing that they have hard proof that the president’s relations bought shares in Etisalat and Keystone Bank, the PDP has not produced a single piece of paper, a document of any sort to buttress the grave allegations it made. This is how shameless and callous the Atiku team has become, all in a desperate bid to get their hands on the public purse,” the group added.
The group also challenged Atiku to produce his tax receipts for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“It is shocking that a man who has not been paying his personal income Taxes now says he wants to ‘get Nigerians working again’ – whatever that means. He is only deceiving himself and not the intelligent Nigerians that we know,” the group added.