SPV saga: Apologise to me or risk exposure — Atiku to Tinubu
Structures of criminality are fighting naked in public spaces in Nigeria
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday threatened to furnish Nigerians with a compendium of alleged corrupt practices involving the presidential candidate of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as well as the list of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) used by him to loot public funds in key government agencies in Lagos State.
Atiku, who spoke through the spokesperson of his presidential campaign organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, was responding to an earlier allegation leveled against him by the Presidential Campaign Council of the APC. He demanded an unreserved apology from Tinubu over the latter’s allegation that he (Atiku) fleeced the nation of huge sums of money through SPVs during his tenure as Vice President from 1999 to 2007.
The former number two citizen reminded the APC candidate of the age-long aphorism that those who dig pits for the innocent always fall into them. “This is the case in the vexatious plots by Asiwaju Tinubu to divert attention from his litany of atrocities by seeking to impugn on the impeccable character of our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, with unfounded controversy of corruption,” he added. Atiku accused Tinubu of using one Michael Achimugu to blackmail him, stating that “no matter how much falsehood appears to thrive, the truth will always prevail at the end of the day.
“Tinubu has not only failed in this mission to tarnish the clean image of Atiku Abubakar but in the process also exposed himself as the real Mr. SPV.” He listed a number of accounts Tinubu allegedly used to move huge sums of money from a domiciliary account to a first-generation bank in a three-day lodgment scheme. The PDP candidate said the money was split and paid in bits and pieces of $30,000, $30,000, $35,000, $30,000 into a domiciliary account in a first-generation bank.
“Nigerians are now in the know of how tranches of $35,000, $71,000, $100,000, $30,000, $200,000, $300,000, $30,000, $70,000, $80,000, $70,000 and $30,000 were alleged to have been taken by Tinubu from different branches of the said first generation bank between February 4 to February 5, 2015. “Nigerians now know of how Tinubu has been desperately trying to divert attention from his alleged use of companies he reportedly owned by proxy, to loot N100 billion tax money belonging to Lagos State, since 2002.
“It is now in public domain how (the company), which has for over 20 years held the exclusive rights to collect taxes in Lagos State in return for a commission under very shady arrangements through which it reportedly siphoned billions of naira belonging to Lagos State. “The public is now aware of a petition before an anti-corruption agency wherein Tinubu’s alleged SPV company was reported to have used another company which shares the same address with Tinubu’s office on Idowu Taylor Street in Lagos to launder Lagos State funds.
“Documents sighted in one of the anti-corruption agencies reveals that Tinubu’s SPV allegedly laundered over N20 billion ($46.5 million) in different currencies to several companies, including payment of N1 billion ($2.3 million) to a company that is widely known to belong to him. “Bola Tinubu should come out clean and speak to these damning money laundering allegations against him. “Furthermore, the APC presidential candidates still has no explanation for his conviction and criminal forfeiture of $460,000 in a criminal case of trafficking in narcotics in the United States of America, for which under section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he is not eligible to contest election in Nigeria. “Since Asiwaju Tinubu has on his own opened up on the allegations of corruption, our campaign is prepared to help him to fill the gaps he wants closed,” Atiku threatened.