The Federal Government of Nigeria said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has questions to answer over the collapse of Bank PHB.
The Nigerian Government accused the opposition candidate of benefiting N156million from the bank through Claremont Management Services Account on 13th January, 2009.
This was revealed in a statement issued by Mr. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, while responding to questions by State House correspondents on whether the All Progressives Congress government was worried about Atiku’s visit to the United States of America.
Mr. Lai however noted that the federal government was not worried about the former VP’s visit to America.
“I have come to make few remarks about the recent visit of the presidential candidate of the PDP to the US. You can recall that a few weeks ago, I did issue a statement advising the US Government not to issue a visa to Atiku.
“Remember also that in that same press conference, I also stated that it remained the prerogative of the US government to issue visa to anyone it deemed fit.
“Let me say right away that we are not perturbed one bit that Alhaji Atiku Abukakar was able to secure a 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 benefited from slush funds that led to the collapse of former Bank PHB.
“The document we have shows he benefited to the tune of N156m from that slush fund.
“The paper which we have here started from an internal memo on January 13, 2009, which reads, ‘Please refer for discussion, your requested overdraft in favour of Atiku Abubakar for N156m and deliver same to me.
“Please note that it must be delivered today (January 13) on the same date.’’’
Lai further noted that there was a second memo confirming the receipt of the money.
“Please confirm that the amount stated below be issued from Claremont Management Services account,” the second memo read.
“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 N156m was issued to Atiku Abubakar, dated January 13, 2009.
“And of course, we also have a 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, we want him to stay as long as he wants in the US, but as soon as he comes back, he has to explain to the electorate and to Nigerians what his role was in the collapse of the former Bank PHB.”