Lai Mohammed says FG will question Atiku when he returns from US trip

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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Lai Mohammed says FG will question Atiku when he returns from US trip


Atiku Abubakar is one of the favourites to win the February 16 presidential election [Twitter/@atiku]

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has to answer questions regarding his alleged shady involvement in the collapse of Bank PHB.

While addressing State House correspondents on Friday, January 18, 2019, the minister said the Federal Government is investigating Atiku's contribution to the collapse of the bank.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked the bank's operating licence in 2011 after it failed to show capacity and ability to recapitalise.
Mohammed said the Federal Government has evidence that the former vice president benefited from slush funds, to the tune of N156 million, that led to the bank's eventual collapse.
He noted that the government has proof of the account mandate, cheque and account statement that prove Atiku was the signatory to the account that received the slush fund.
"It started from an internal memo dated 13 January 2009 asking that a draft in favour of Atiku Abubakar of 156 million should be raised," he said.Lai Mohammed believes Atiku has questions to answer when he returns to the country Although he clearly noted that Atiku will not be arrested when he returns from his current trip to the United States of America, he said the former vice president will have to answer questions over the allegations.
"We want him to stay in the U.S. for as long as he wants but he has to explain to Nigerians when he returns," he said.
The former vice president arrived in the USA on Thursday, January 17, 12 years after his last trip there. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had made a huge deal out of the supposed inability of the candidate to travel to the U.S. due to speculation that a secret indictment awaited him in relation to corrupt dealings with a U.S. Congressman.
He has been unable to enter the U.S. since he left office as vice president in 2007 as his visa applications were repeatedly denied until recently.
The APC had repeatedly taunted him over his visa troubles, a situation that could have informed the jubilation that followed his arrival in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
Atiku Abubakar (left) and Senate President, Bukola Saraki (right) travelled together to the United States on Thursday, January 17 Mohammed commented on Friday that the trip does nothing to boost Atiku's chances at the polls because the election will be decided in Nigeria.
"We are not perturbed one bit. He can go ahead and get a U.S. green card. That will not save him from imminent defeat in the forthcoming election," he said.
The minister had warned the U.S. government in November 2018 to be careful about granting Atiku's visa application so as not to create the impression of endorsing him for the 2019 election.While in the U.S., Atiku will meet with US government officials, the business community and the Nigerian community before returning to Nigeria on Saturday, January 19 when he's expected to take part in a presidential debate opposite President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC flag bearer.
Other candidates that'll take part in the debate are Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).

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