Festus Keyamo, a senior lawyer in Nigeria, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Code of Conduct Bureau to detain PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar over corruption allegations within the next 72 hours. Keyamo serves as the spokesperson for Bola Tinubu’s presidential campaign council.
In a document that our correspondent was able to obtain, Keyamo requested that the heads of the anti-graft organizations detain Atiku or summon him for questioning regarding alleged crimes related to money laundering, criminal misappropriation and breach of trust, conspiracy, and other transgressions of the code of conduct for public servants.
In the event that the authorities did not respond to the petition, he also pledged to get a court injunction requiring them to either arrest or summon the former vice president for interrogation.
Kenyamo noted that he was writing as a lawyer, a citizen, and a former private prosecutor for the EFCC. He added that Nigerians had been alarmed by recent revelations made by whistleblower and former Atiku aide Michael Achimugu, who claimed that the former vice president had laundered money through certain companies known as “Special Purpose Vehicles,” using dependable allies as shareholders and directors.
Keyamo said, “For about a week now, Nigerians have been in shock over the public revelations of a whistleblower, Mr. Michael Achimugu, who has provided the nation with evidence of letters of appointment by Atiku Abubakar, e-mails, documents, audio clips, sworn affidavit and his direct oral evidence as to how Atiku, who happens to be the presidential candidate of the PDP, during his tenure as Vice-President of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, colluded with his then boss, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, to fleece the country and steal public funds using what he termed as ‘Special Purpose Vehicles.’
“Those SPVs were companies which Atiku admittedly registered upon assumption of office as the VP (with the approval of Obasanjo) using “trusted allies” as shareholders and directors.
“The purpose was to divert government contracts to these companies as “consultants” and then pay monies into these companies and use those monies to fund the PDP, their private businesses and family activities.”
In a letter to the authorities, Keyamo attached certified genuine copies of the affidavit that whistleblower Achimugu had signed and made public. He urged them to take swift action without regard for Atiku’s current status as a presidential contender.
Kenyamo mentioned the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the claim that Hillary Clinton misused personal emails while she was Secretary of State during the 2016 presidential election in the United States of America, stating that the topic was of significant national concern.
He added, “In fact, the case (Clinton’s) was referred to the Justice Department for likely prosecution few weeks to actual voting.
“I understand that the law enforcement agencies may be reluctant to act simply because of the perception of persecution of a presidential candidate that this may evoke.
“However, facts are sacred. The facts so far presented to the world clearly indicate that Atiku has a case to answer. In other climes when such serious allegations arose in the middle of campaigns, the law enforcement agencies acted decisively.
“Take further notice that if you fail, refuse and/or neglect to act, I shall be proceeding to court to compel you to act.”