The Federal Government yesterday said it has uncovered a corruption case against the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki left the country for the United States on Thursday, after staying away from there for over a decade.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this to State House reporters, said the former vice president had a corruption case to answer when he returns to the country. He said fresh evidence had revealed that Atiku benefitted from the slush fund that led to the collapse of Bank PHB, formerly Habib Bank.
Lai said the federal government had the account mandate, cheque and account statement showing Atiku as the signatory to the account that received part of the slush fund.
“Anytime Atiku returns home, he has questions to answer following the fresh evidence that we have that he benefitted from the slush fund that led to the collapse of the former Bank PHB. The document we have shows that he benefitted to the tune of N156m from that slush fund,” he said.
Lai said an internal memo dated January 13, 2009, reads, “Please refer for discussion your requested overdraft in favour of Atiku Abubakar for N156 million and deliver same to me. Please note that it must be delivered today (Jan. 13) on the same date. “
He said another memo was generated to confirm. “Please confirm that the amount stated below be issued from Claremont Management Services account.”
The minister added, “We have evidence here of the account mandate-the name of Atiku Abubakar, we also have a copy of the cheque in which the sum of N156m was issued to Atiku Abubakar dated January 13, 2009 and of course we also have statement of account within that period that confirms that this sum was actually paid into his account.
“These are fresh evidence as to his involvement in the collapse of Bank PHB, so we want him to stay as long he wants in the US, but as soon he comes back, he has to explain to the electorate and to Nigerians what his role is in the collapse of the former Bank PHB.”
On the US trip, Lai said, “We are not perturbed one bit that [Atiku] was able to secure visa to the US. As a matter of fact, he can go ahead and get the US Green Card, that will not save him from defeat in the forthcoming election. I want to remind Abubakar that the elections will be right here in Nigeria and not in the US.”