The Federal Government has alleged that the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, benefited from the slush funds that caused the collapse of Bank PHB, now Keystone Bank.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while briefing State House correspondents on Friday in Abuja, said Abubakar would offer explanations to Nigerians once he returned from his trip to the US.
Atiku Abubakar had on Thursday travelled to the United State, the first since he left office as Vice President of Nigeria 13 years ago.
Mohammed recalled that he advised the US government against issuing visa to Abubakar.
However, he said it remains the prerogative of the US government to issue visa to anyone it deems fit.
He said: “Let me say right away, 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.
“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 funds.”
The Minister said that the paper which is in his possession started from an internal memo on January 13, 2009, 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 (Jan. 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.”
He said there was clear evidence of the account mandate in 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 Jan. 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,’’ he said.
According to Mohammed, there is fresh evidence as to Abubakar’s involvement in the collapse of Bank PHB, which he owes the electorates and Nigerians explanation
Recently Atiku alleged President Muhammadu Buhari’s family members co-own Etisalat Nigeria.