Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE and JAMES OJO, Abuja on
Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday formally reacted to the allegations of corruption and abuse of office for which he was indicted by both the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Bayo Ojo-led judicial panel, describing them as not only totally false and baseless, but also unsupportable by facts.
In letters addressed to the Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari, he said the reports of both bodies stood truth on its head as they were concocted and hastily assembled in a determined effort to achieve a pre-determined conclusion and halt his presidential ambition. He therefore urged the Senate to scrutinize and accordingly consign them to the dustbin of history where he said they belong.
“I would like to state here categorically that the findings of the EFCC as contained in its report dated 24th August 2006 and the contents of the report of the so called “Administrative Panel of Inquiry” based on the EFCC report, as they purport to relate or refer to me, are totally false, baseless and unsupportable by the facts in this matter. I would urge you to address your minds accordingly and consign these reports into the dustbin of history where they belong,” he stated.
He explained that the whole exercise was a calculated attempt “to pronounce my humble self, Atiku Abubakar, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, guilty of fraud and embezzlement, in order to satisfy the callous and mischievous aims of those who seek to rely on the provisions of Section 137 (1) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to prevent me from contesting the presidency of our great nation.”
The vice president said despite being the primary target of the reports and in spite of his written request to President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was neither provided with the reports nor given the opportunity of going through them before making his comments, adding he read the reports on the pages of newspapers like every other Nigerian.
The vice president who expressed confidence that he would at the end of the day be vindicated, also threw more light on the issues raised in the reports now before the National Assembly, clarifying them one after the other.
House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari Thursday confirmed the receipt of Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s response to allegations leveled against him in the reports sent to the National Assembly by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Masari read the cover note that accompanied the letter and assured members that a copy of t he 15-page letter would be made available before the next sitting.
Sitting was delayed for hours as the leadership of the House had to attend the burial of the military officers that died in last Sunday’s crash.
Members, after the sitting, bombarded the paper office for copies of the letter, but they were asked to wait until copies were made.
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