The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is reported to have arrested an associate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, over alleged laundering of $4 million.
Media reports indicate that the arrested associate is Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie; a legal counsel to Atiku Abubakar.The money is termed “suspicious election cash”, the Nation said.
The arrest followed an intelligence report on a suspicious transaction by a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator.
The Nation had exclusively reported how the PDP reportedly allocated $3million each for “logistics” to its 36 state branches and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Most Bureau De Change operators and banks have, however, refused the “pressure” to convert the hard currency to Naira.
“A BDC operator was intercepted for shipping $2million from Abuja to Lagos for suspected money laundering,’’ Sources in EFCC is reported to have said.
The source said the BDC operator admitted that the suspect paid the Naira equivalent of $4 million into his account in exchange for hard currency.
“We invited the suspect for interrogation on Monday and Tuesday. Our detectives have also conducted a search of his home. Some useful documents were retrieved. Investigation is, however, still in progress.”
“Apart from documents relating to posh properties at home and abroad, a copy of the EFCC Investigation Report on Atiku’s relationship with a jailed U.S. lawmaker, Williams Jefferson, was retrieved.’’
Meanwhile, Nigerians in the diaspora have called for Giwa Osagie’s release.
In a release, signed by Prof. Isa Odidi, Director, Diaspora Directorate, Chairman Committee of Diaspora, PDP Presidential Campaign Council, yesterday and made available by Grace Okagbare, a member committee on Diaspora for the Atiku/Obi presidential Campaign Organisation, PCO, the group described the arrest as a brazen act of intimidation and disregard for the rule of law aimed at decimating and disenfranchising opposition political party members by the Buhari led administration.
The statement reads,
“ It has come to the notice of Nigerians in Diaspora that in a brazen act of intimidation and disregard for the rule of law aimed at decimating and disenfranchising opposition political party members, the Buhari administration and its state security apparatus, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, legal counsel to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar.
“ This continued pattern of intimidation of members of the opposition political parties, particular those working with Atiku Abubakar, the presumed front runner and the candidate predicted by all polls both local and international to win Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election seems like a calculated attempt to stifle and manipulate the electioneering process well before the presidential elections slated for Saturday 23rd February 2019.
“Nigerians in Diaspora will not stand for this dastardly act, enough is enough. We condemn the unprovoked arrest of Giwa-Osagie by the EFCC. We call on the international community in Africa, USA, Europe, UK and Asia to join us in the condemnation the Buhari administration and its security agencies and call them to order and request that Giwa-Osagie be released unconditionally with immediate effect. Failing to do so we call on the international community to consider placing a travel ban on and freezing\seizure of assets of all Nigerian government officials and their families.” they called.