Festus Keyamo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council spokesperson, says Bola Tinubu, his party’s presidential candidate, cannot stop him from prosecuting Atiku Abubakar over a new corruption charge.
On Tuesday’s Politics Today on Channels TV, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mr. Keyamo pledged to sue Atiku as a concerned citizen and APC PCC member.
Michael Achimugu, who claimed to be a former aide to Atiku, recently leveled claims of corruption against the ex-vice president.
During his tenure as vice president from 1999 and 2007, Atiku allegedly utilized Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to siphon off state monies.
According to trade finance global, SPV is utilized to divide the risk linked with a collection of assets held by a parent firm. These are legal corporations established by a parent firm to isolate the financial risk associated with certain assets, initiatives, or undertakings.
Mr. Achimugu also revealed audio recordings of conversations he had with Atiku, in which the latter admitted to using SPVs to conceal slush payments.
The Atiku campaign team, however, disputed the charges and accused the governing party of funding Mr. Achimugu’s allegations.
Dino Melaye, one of the Atiku campaign’s spokesmen, asserted that the opposition created the audio proof to disrupt the candidate’s campaign.
On Monday, Mr. Keyamo petitioned three anti-graft organizations to investigate Atiku: the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). In addition, he provided the agencies with 72 hours to arrest the PDP candidate.
During the course of the interview, Mr. Keyamo indicated that, if given the option, he is prepared to leave the Tinubu campaign and prosecute Atiku.
He stated that Mr. Achimugu’s allegations complement publicly available facts and that he has evaluated the evidence and the trustworthiness of the source in order to pursue legal action.
“If Asiwaju says ‘Festus, you are diverting from my campaign, don’t campaign for me again’ I will say please take your campaign because this is national interest. I have taken it as a personal issue,” he said.
Speaking on the credibility of the accuser, Mr. Keyamo said “We have seen his pictures with Atiku Abubakar all over the world, we have seen private e-mails between Abubakar Atiku and himself, private emails that they exchanged over the years.
“We have seen letters of appointment which of course one of the campaign spokespersons denied. The letter of appointment was signed by Raymond Dokpesi, another one by Atiku Abubakar’s son, Mohammed, and Gbenga Daniel in 2018.”
Mr Keyamo said, Marine Float, one of the companies mentioned in the recording, is not new.
He said that “in 2006, at the height of his public quarrel with Obasanjo over the sharing of money, the same PDP officially asked Atiku Abubakar to refund N500 million taken from that account.”