- Government trying to invent allegations against former vice president
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the early hours of yesterday, arrested Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi, a son-in-law to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar.
Abdullahi, who also is the Finance Director of the Atiku Group of Companies and another Director in Atiku’s company, Uyi Giwa Osagie were arrested in Abuja by the anti-graft agency.
Reacting to the development, the main opposition party, the PDP asked the APC- led federal government to leave Atiku Abubakar alone “and concentrate on how to reinvent itself and solve the myriad of problems it inflicted on Nigerians through bad governance.”
The EFCC confirmed the arrest of the duo last night, saying it was in connection with an ongoing investigation into money laundering by Atiku Group of Companies.
Sources at the EFCC told THISDSY last night that Abdullahi and Giwa would be arraigned on Wednesday in Abuja.
Babalele was first arrested by the commission in March this year, for alleged money laundering to the tune of€150 million.
Family members of the former vice president yesterday condemned the arrests, describing the development as “hostage taking at the highest level.”
A member of the Atiku family, who pleaded for anonymity, alleged that the detention of Abdullahi was in connection with the fact that Atiku is challenging the declaration of Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the 2019 Presidential election at the tribunal.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the arrest of Abdullahi and Giwa yesterday, the main opposition party, the PDP asked the APC- led federal government to leave Atiku Abubakar alone and concentrate on how to reinvent itself and solve the myriad of problems it inflicted on Nigerians through bad governance.
While also accusing the ruling party of resorting to fabrications, insults and attempts to invent allegations against Atiku, the PDP, asked the ruling APC “to face its self-inflicted resentment from Nigerians by answering for its misrule for which compatriots have now become agitated on all fronts.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said: “Our party, for the umpteenth time urges the Buhari Presidency and the APC to leave Atiku Abubakar alone and face their self-inflicted resentment from Nigerians by answering for their misrule for which compatriots have now become agitated on all fronts”.
The PDP said that it was despicable that the Buhari Presidency and the APC “has not yet realised that Nigerians are aware that since their defence fell apart at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, they have become nervous and desperate to invent any means to frame and drag down Atiku Abubakar; a plot that has already failed.”
The statement read: “It is indeed not surprising that the APC, in its desperation, is now playing opposition, which is a role fitting of it, being that it does not have the mandate of the people; the very reason it cannot command the respect, loyalty and support of the citizens in the midst of its misrule.
“The PDP maintains that Atiku Abubakar, as a leader of choice, has never faltered in displaying the highest sense of patriotism, restrain and decorum in his positions on national issues and, standing with overwhelming majority of Nigerians, cannot be intimidated or distracted from pursing the retrieval of his stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.
“Instead of fixating on Atiku, the APC should help the Commander-in-Chief to provide answers for escalated insecurity in our country under his watch; with insurgents, marauders, bandits and kidnappers holding our nation hostage and turning her into a killing field and large funeral palour in the last four years.
“Furthermore, the APC should rather be helping President Buhari to answer Nigerians on how his administration wrecked our once robust economy, entrenched corruption, frittered trillions of naira, turned our nation into world poverty capital and foisted joblessness, acute hunger and starvation; human right abuses and downright impunity, which have spurred resentment to the extent that Nigerians are now desperate to take their destinies in the hands with many resorting to suicide and slavery missions abroad.
“Moreover, the APC should look inwards, do some soul searching and face the miseries it sired instead of seeking for a scapegoat where there is none”.
Furthermore, the PDP added: “Let it therefore be known to the APC and the Buhari Presidency that the PDP and Nigerians stand with Atiku Abubakar in the collective national determination to retrieve our stolen presidential mandate at the court and we are confident that justice for the people will prevail at the end of the day”.