The Buhari Media Organisation has accused the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the May 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, of lying over the arrest of his son-in-law, Abdullahi Babalele, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The group claimed Babalele, who is also the Group Finance Director of Atiku’s companies, is under probe by the anti-graft agency over an alleged laundering of about €150m (N63bn).
The BMO in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said the claim by the opposition that he was arrested to make Atiku concede defeat was yet another proof of the many lies from the camp of the former Vice President before and after the Presidential elections.
The statement said, “Only last week we spoke about how the PDP candidate has been twisting historical facts especially when he ignored the globally acclaimed electoral heist of 2007 presided over by a government he was part of, to claim that the 2019 election was the worst in thirty years.
“That was when he also looked Nigerians in the eyes and said international observers agreed that the election was a sham, but observers backed by the US and UK authorities have since proved that results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission tallied with results from the polling units.
“Now, the latest fable from that camp is the allegation that Atiku’s bagman was arrested as part of efforts to make him (Atiku) concede defeat in an election that he lost with a margin that cannot be cancelled if all the votes in Saturday’s supplementary Presidential election go to him.”
BMO however wondered how the arrest of the PDP candidate’s finance director on suspicion of laundering the equivalent of N63bn through shell companies could be interpreted as a ploy to stop Atiku from exercising his democratic right.
It said, “The fund in question, which was later transferred to a bureau de change in Lagos and Abuja in order to be converted to naira, is about half of the 2019 budget of Yobe state and this is what the EFCC suspects were to be used to compromise the elections.
“What the Atiku camp is not saying is that Babalele’s arrest is in the aftermath of an earlier arrest of Uyi Giwa-Osagie, the former Vice President’s lawyer, even before the election when detectives intercepted a $1.6m transaction linked to him at a bureau de change in Lagos.
“His media team also conveniently left out the real reason for the investigation of his finance director but were quick to identify him as Atiku’s in-law in order to sell a false narrative of a crackdown on families and friends of their principal as one Timi Frank said in a disjointed statement
“What Nigerians need from someone who once held the exalted office of Vice President is a proper explanation of what the €150m was meant for, not the bared faced lies from him and his associates to whip up political sentiments.”
The pro-Buhari group said money laundering is a criminal act that the Presidential candidate of a major political party should not even be suspected of involvement.
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