Bank PHB Fund: The Federal Government is preparing grounds to interrogate the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, over alleged corruption.
However, top government sources said no decision had been taken on the security or anti-graft agency that would handle the matter, Sunday Punch reports.
It was gathered that the government had yet to make up its mind on whether the file be sent to the Department of State Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the police.
A source close to the planned interrogation said the Federal Government was not bothered about political interpretation being read into the issue.
The source said,
“The alleged crime was discovered by the government and though it could have happened earlier, there is no time limit to when a crime should he investigated.
“The government has the right to determine when a case is ripe for either investigation or even prosecution. That is the truth.
“In the coming week, a decisive action will be taken on the matter. Anybody can say whatever they like, but government is not bothered because we know we have a genuine case against the former vice president.”
Atiku’s interrogation is sequel to allegation made by the Federal Government on Friday that it was in possession of alleged fresh N156m evidence linking the former vice president to the collapse of Bank PHB.
To this end, it stated that Atiku had questions to answer in connection with the alleged ‘slush funds’, which he took from the bank through Claremont Management Services Account on January 13, 2009.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the allegation in Abuja while speaking with State House correspondents on Friday.
He also claimed that the government was not disturbed that the former vice president got a United States’ visa and actually travelled to the US on Thursday.
Rather, he said the presidential candidate must clear his name of corruption allegations, especially his alleged role in the collapse of Bank PHB.
But Atiku said in Abuja on Saturday, that the Federal Government was shocked about his trip to US.
He, nevertheless, said he was ready to make himself available for interrogation, saying he remained a law-abiding citizen.
Atiku, who spoke though his media aide, Mr Phrank Shaibu, said he had nothing to hide.
The ex-vice president added,
“Nigerians are aware of the timing of this fresh allegation by the APC-led Federal Government. It is their shameless reaction to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s visit to the US.
“So, we don’t need the services of a clairvoyant to know that the allegation of corruption is nothing but a manifestation of solid and un-adulterated angst.
“It is simply an exhibition of a blind rage by a set of deprived suckling with a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour that is characterised by incredible skills at lying.
“Atiku, as a law-abiding citizen, will, as always, subject himself to scrutiny because he has no skeletons in his cupboard but the case under review (if any) is an issue for our lawyers to determine as we are too busy with electioneering, a process to get Nigeria working again.”