Atiku Abubakar in US: FG reacts, threatens to probe him over collapse of Bank PHB

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Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has reacted to the visit of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to the United States of America.

It declared that it was not in any way bothered about his ability to secure visa and visit the country.

Vowing that he would be defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming election, the Federal Government said the election would hold in Nigeria and not in the US.

“Let me say right away that we are not perturbed one bit that Alhaji Atiku Abukakar 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 imminent defeat in the forthcoming election.

“I want to remind Abubakar that the elections will be right here in Nigeria and not in the US.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government also said Atiku would be probed over his contribution to the collapse of Bank PHB, upon his return for the United States.

Lai Mohammed said the government had enough evidence to prove that Atiku benefitted from the fund that led to the collapse of the bank.

He stated that about N156 million was credited to Atiku’s account in 2009, a development which brought about the collapse of the bank.

His words:  “I have come to make few remarks about the recent visit of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party to the US. You can recall that few weeks ago, I did issue a statement advising the US government not to issue visa to Atiku.

“Remember also that in that same press conference, I also stated that it remains the prerogative of the US government to issue visa to anyone it deems fit.

“In any event, any time Abubakar returns home, he has questions to answer following the fresh evidence that we have that he benefitted from slush funds that led to the collapse of the former Bank PHB.

“The document we have shows that he benefitted to the tune of N156 million from that slush fund. The paper which we have here started from an internal memo on the January 13, 2009, in which 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 (January 13).  On the same date, another memo was generated to confirm—please confirm that the amount stated below be issued from Claremont Management Services account. And 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 N156 million 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 want to 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 is his role in the collapse in the former Bank PHB.”

Atiku visited the U.S. on Thursday after over 12 years.

He was said to be wanted by the government of the US over alleged money laundering.

It was gathered that it took the intervention of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who is supporting his presidential ambition against Buhari to secure the US visa for Atiku.