By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has dismissed a report in a national daily and some online news sites that he visited former governor of Plateau State and Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial district, Air Commodore Jonah Jang (retd) in Jos prison.
A statement from the Atiku Media Office described the media report as false, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential hopeful was attending to series of issues in his home state of Adamawa the same day the media claimed he was in the Jos prison to see Jang who was last week reminded on allegations bothering on corruption.
“The report, as it relates to the former Vice President, is false in its entirety and a mere fabrication. For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar has been in Yola, Adamawa State since Thursday for the activities of the 10th Commencement Ceremony and Presidential Inauguration of American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola,” the statement read in part adding that “On Friday, Atiku joined the Yola Ummah at the first Juma’at prayer of this year’s Ramadan at the Yola Central Mosque and later graced the Graduation Awards Ceremony of AUN.
“On Saturday, Atiku attended the 10th graduation ceremony of AUN which was widely reported in the media. The former Vice President arrived in Yola International Airport in the morning of Thursday, 17th May and still remains in Yola till today and could not have been in Jos as being claimed in a section of the media.”
Mr Luka Ayedoo, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Plateau Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Jos that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had paid solidarity visit to former Plateau Governor Jonah Jane, being remanded in Jos prison over allegation of money laundry and misappropriation.
Justice Daniel Longji of the Plateau High Court, Jos, had on May 16 ordered that the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly be remanded in prison after refusing him bail.
Ayedoo listed others that also visited Jang at the weekend to include Prof. Jerry Gana, a PDP chieftain, some senators from the South-South region and Chief Chris Giwa, another PDP chieftain in Plateau.
Ayedoo said: “at the weekend, we received Prof. Jerry Gana, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, senators and other notable Nigerians who came on solidarity visit to Sen. Jonah Jang.
“Even though Jang is in prison custody, he still reserves the right to be visited and so we won’t deny him that right,” he said.
The PRO, however, said restrictions were placed on the caliber of people to visit the former governor so as not to turn the prison yard into a political arena.
“Those we give express permission to see him are few political allies, family members, his doctor and his lawyer, “he said.