A call has been made for an ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to be extradited to the United States over allegations of corruption.
A former campaign spokesman for Atiku, Kassim Afegbua made the call on Sunday.
In a statement released on Sunday, Afegbua asked the US government to immediately extradite the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant in the interest of rule of law, justice and transparency.
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The former Edo Commissioner stated that the US Congress in its report indicted Atiku on issues concerning money laundering and other financial malfeasance.
He said during the 2019 elections, Atiku was granted a waiver by the US Consular office in Lagos to enable him to visit the US with the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Afegbua said after the visit to the US, the former vice president had not been able to visit the country again due to the alleged charges of corruption hanging around his neck.
The statement reads: “The onerous thing to do was for Atiku Abubakar to visit the United States of America to answer to those weighty allegations which were the outcome of the comprehensive investigations carried out by the United States Congress.
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“When, during the 2019 presidential campaigns, several news reports and compelling demands were made on Atiku, as PDP candidate, to visit America over the matter, he was reportedly granted a waiver by the US Consular office in Lagos to enable him to visit the US with the then Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.
“After that visit, Atiku has not been able to visit America again “ostensibly on the stretch of those weighty allegations which have not been dispensed with.
“The entire report of the US Congress copiously indicted Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on issues concerning money laundering. It will make judicious sense if the United States Government is able to treat this pending matter once and for all, by way of extraditing the former Vice President to answer those lingering queries on financial impropriety.
“As an alumnus of the Les Aspin School of Government and Good Governance, Washington DC, who was exposed to the rudiments of anti-corruption studies in 2004 and sponsored by the United States Government, I feel patriotically disturbed that those who should be cooling off in jail, are still walking the streets as free men and even trying to run for the highest office in the land.
“The report of the United States Congress on the investigation is too damning to be ignored if we truly want to sustain the ethics of transparent leadership and positive governance. I am therefore calling on the United States Government to commence the process of inviting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the United States to face those charges without further delay. I am aware of the threats to my life over my strong position against the aspiration of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and other northern aspirants who are running against the run of play.
“I am, therefore, using this opportunity to plead that the United States Government takes expedite action on this matter in the interest of rule of law, justice and transparency.”
He, therefore, advised Atiku to visit the US to clear up his name in the weighty allegations instead of planning to contest the 2023 presidential election.
Afegbua claimed that he has received threats to his life since he started opposing the 2023 presidential aspiration of the former vice president.
The former commissioner also urged the US government to take deliberate steps to help Nigeria grow her anti-corruption initiative, deepen her democracy and provide the opportunity for a robust economy.
“The United States of America should please take deliberate steps to help Nigeria grow her anti-corruption initiative, deepen her democracy and provide the opportunity for a robust economy that will benefit the majority and not a select and privileged few. It will help consolidate both private and public sector efforts at reducing the incidents of corruption and financial malfeasance.
“The earlier Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is made to face the full wrath of the law, the better for our anti-corruption crusade, and the best for our fledgling democracy.”
Photo Credit: Getty