Atiku’s Visit Criticized by Nigerians In US...To be questioned upon return
Abasi Femi Oguntayo
Some Nigerians in the United States have criticized the visit of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubarkar to the United States, saying it does not absolve him of corruption.
The Nigerians who were the US chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) criticised the visit saying this does not absolve him of corruption. In a statement by its chairman, Adeshegun Labinjo, the US APC said the PDP presidential candidate should be held accountable for his involvement in money laundering.
Meanwhile, the minister of Information in Nigeria, Lai Mohammed has said that the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has questions to answer when he returns from his current trip to the United States. According to Premium Times, the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said this while briefing State House correspondents on Friday, January 18. Legit.ng gathers that the federal government said it is investigating Atiku's alleged role in the collapse of former Bank PHB.
The information minister reportedly explained that the federal government took the decision to question Atiku “following fresh evidence that he benefitted from slush funds that led to the collapse of Bank PHB.”
He said the government has in its position “paper trail which shows that he benefitted from N156 million.”
“It started from an internal memo dated 13 January 2009 asking that a draft in favour of Atiku Abubakar of 156 million should be raised,” he said. Mohammed also said another memo on the same date was raised to confirm that the amount was raised from a “claimant management account.” He said the government has proof of the account mandate, cheque and account statement showing Atiku as the signatory to the account that received the money.
“We want him to stay in the US for as long as he wants but he has to explain to Nigerians when he returns,” he said.
Commenting on the visit of the former vice president to the US, the minister said the government had earlier issued a statement advising the US not to issue him a visa. He, however, said it remains the prerogative of the US government to issue visa to anyone.
Mohammed said: “We are not perturbed one bit. He can go ahead and get a US green card. That will not save him from imminent defeat in the forthcoming election.” He also said the “election will be held here not in the US.” The minister, however, said his claim does not imply that the former vice president will be arrested on his return.