The Buhari Media Organisation has raised the alarm over a grand plot by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to bring illicit funds into the country ahead of the 2019 elections.
It urged the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant security agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to be on the lookout for cross-border movement of large sums of dollars into the country.
BMO in a statement on Sunday by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said that there was heightened desperation to bring money stashed away abroad into the country with a view to outspending the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The statement said, “We have it on good authority that the PDP and its presidential candidate are making efforts to bring in public funds, including those from recent sales of assets in Angola which were acquired with illicit funds.
“We also know that the former vice president has made promissory transaction commitments on a number of strategic national assets, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and a percentage holding in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas to a foreign syndicate,” it said.
The group explained that the move by the PDP presidential candidate followed stringent measures put in place by the CBN and the EFCC to ensure sanity in the banking sector.
It added “It is clear to Atiku Abubakar and the PDP elements that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has put in place a system that has made it difficult for the type of the situation in 2015 where former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, could warehouse $115,000,000, which was then shared among party officials to influence electoral officials.
“So these opposition elements are now working out a more crooked way of bringing in money through the borders in order to circumvent the system before and during the February 2019 elections.”
But Atiku alleged that it was Buhari that had a history of bringing looted funds into the country.
He described the allegation as another “infantile outburst that tells more about the accuser than Atiku Abubakar.”
Atiku, in a statement by his media aide Mr Paul Ibe, said, “History shows that rather than smuggle in looted cash, Waziri Atiku Abubakar prevented looted funds from being smuggled into Nigeria.”
“In 1984, it was Atiku Abubakar, as head of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Department, that stopped the ADC of the then Military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, from smuggling in 53 suitcases of looted money into the country.
Ibe urged Nigerians to note that “it is Muhammadu Buhari who has a history and a record of smuggling in looted funds while Atiku has a history of preventing such from happening.”