Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar has confirmed that some money was indeed given to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, a transaction that has become part of the money laundering probe by EFCC of the €150million brought into the country by his failed presidential campaign.
But he insisted it was a normal donation because the library is a not-for-profit organisation and that the donation was made via a bank cheque, and not cash of $140,000 that the EFCC is investigating.
The EFCC on 8 August extended to Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, its investigation of the laundered 150 million euros cash-for-poll by associates of former vice-president Atiku Abubakar.
EFCC investigators went to the Library to authenticate the claims by one of those under probe, Mallam Babalele Abdullahi, Atiku’s son-in-law, that he gave $140,000 (about N50 million) in cash to one of the library officials.
According to reports, the EFCC officials, accompanied by policemen, combed some offices at the former President’s Library.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Mallam Babalele Abdullahi, Atiku Abubakar’s son-in-law, did not donate any money in cash to the Olusegun Obasanjo Library. Yes, he did facilitate a donation of fifty million naira to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, but so did many other individuals, including civic-minded traditional rulers, state Governors, bankers and captains of industry.
“This is because the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library is a non-governmental organisation that plays a pivotal role in promoting peace and stability in Nigeria, and that should be applauded”, said the Vice President in a statement by his media office on Monday.
Atiku is also now reading a sinister motive in the EFCC leaking its probe to the press, by accusing the commission of trying to “cause disaffection and bad blood between him and the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Raising sentiments that Obasanjo founded, while in office, Atiku slammed the anti-graft agency for being a disappointment.
“An action such as this is tantamount to a river denying its own source, since Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is the fountain of origin of the EFCC, seeing(sic) as he founded the institution and nurtured it to maturity”.