By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of lobbying the United States Government to lift the alleged travel ban placed on his former vice, Atiku Abubakar, now the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
“We have come across credible reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made moves to secure United States entry visa for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar, whose candidacy he endorsed on Thursday”, spokesman of the APC, Yekini Nabena said in a late Friday statement.
APC said the former President who during and after leaving office insisted on Atiku’s unsuitability to govern Nigeria based on his knowledge of the latter’s extensive “corrupt practices while he served as Vice President, is lobbying US authorities to withdraw the ban reportedly placed on Atiku from entering the United States following a 2005 $500,000 bribery scandal that involved Atiku, his fourth wife, Jennifer and former United States Congressman, William Jefferson”.
“Recall that the former president while in office had deployed enormous resources of the country on a global dragnet coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in getting Atiku prosecuted for corrupt enrichment and money laundering.
“A report by the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin reported that Atiku used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer while still the vice president of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008.
“The report further stated that then President Bush had on the strength of his report, barred Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States, a reason for which he has been unable to travel to the United States till date.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s intervention in Alh.Abubakar Atiku’s ban from the United States of America is evidence of Obasanjo’s legendary hypocrisy and self-serving interest in national affairs”, the APC added.