By Chuks Okocha
A former vice president and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said neither him nor any member of his family is under any surveillance, explaining that he has not breached any law.
He said the report in circulation about the purported surveillance is not new as it was circulated prior to 2019 general election.
He said he is not surprised that the report is being regurgitated again because of the season that the country is entering.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the US Department of Treasury had reportedly placed Atiku and his family members under close watch.
The report alleged that FinCEN flagged some transactions linked to the politician as suspicious as it investigates money movements within the international financial system.
But Atiku in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, said the report was merely recycled and regurgitated lies about the person of Atiku.
According to the statement, “For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar is not under any US watch list, neither has he been charged or will ever be charged by the United States Justice Department or any other in a foreign jurisdiction.
“It will be recalled that these recycled lies were re-unearthed just before the February 23, 2019, presidential election, and to put paid to them, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, applied for and received a US visa, whereupon he embarked on a visit to the United States on January 17, 2019. He stayed at a hotel just miles to the United States Department of Justice.
“Atiku Abubakar in the course of that trip was also received in audience, by officials of the United States Government.”
Ibe explained that these ‘new’ reports are a desperate gambit to recast these discredited accusations, explaining further that “they are meant to divert the attention of Nigerians from the recent statement by the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Mike Pompeo, announcing visa and travel bans for certain unnamed but notorious individuals.”
The spokesperson of the former vice president said the timing of this report, less than 24 hours after the Edo State gubernatorial election, should give some thought to thinking people.
He explained that considering the season that the nation is in more of such jaundiced stories seeking to discredit Atiku would come.
He reiterated that the former vice president and every member of his family keep a clean business portfolio that has nothing to do with government resources and in conformity with local and foreign laws of respective countries.