Tinubu calls for Atiku’s arrest over aorruption and Atiku fires back with call for Tinubu’s arrest over illegal army
Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called on the security agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute his political opponent, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over what he described as #AtikuGate, a massive corruption under the guise of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
In a swift reaction, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation described the formation of a uniformed squad by the APC candidate code-named “Jagaban Army” as a treasonable act and calls for the arrest and questioning of Tinubu. Kola Ologbondiyan, Spokesperson, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation, said in Abuja on Monday, that such act is in violation of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution, as amended.
Tinubu cited a video clip made by one Michael Achimugu, said to be a former aide of the PDP standard bearer.
According to the APC candidate, Atiku as vice president between 1999 and 2007 looted huge sums of public funds using the “Special Purpose Vehicles” as conduit.
Tinubu’s move against Atiku followed a recent disclosure by one Michael Achimugu, who claimed to be a former aide of Atiku. Achimugu had released a video in which he gave details of how the former Vice-President allegedly used phony companies called ‘Special Purpose Vehicles’ (SPVs) to receive bribes and divert public funds when he was vice president of the country.
In the viral video, Achimugu warned Nigerians against voting Atiku as president on the grounds of his alleged corrupt tendencies which could worsen Nigeria’s precarious economic situation.
Achimugu reinforced his allegation against Atiku by sharing an audio recording of alleged phone conversion between him and Atiku, in which the former vice president allegedly admitted that while serving as deputy to Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, he founded the SPVs with the aim to “carry out certain activities” in a deceitful bid to avoid being linked to corruption.
Reacting to Achimugu’s revelations on Monday in Abuja, through the APC presidential campaign council at a world press conference, Tinubu gave the security agencies a 72-hour ultimatum to arrest and commence the prosecution of Atiku, stressing that the former vice president does not enjoy immunity simply because he is a presidential candidate.
Director of Public Affairs and chief spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku must apologise and renounce his presidential ambition in consequence of the scandal.
Atiku’s accusation of Tinubu came against the backdrop of a post last Friday, by the APC Youth Leader, Dayo Israel with the caption: “The Wing Marshal of the APC National Youth Wing; and Chief of Army Staff of the Jagaban Army, which coincided with the launch in Abuja.
Olugbondiyan said the Jagaban Army, was apparently set up to disrupt the 2023 general elections and raid the polling units for votes on behalf of APC Presidential candidate, adding that “Bola Tinubu’s act is a direct affront to the Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies as well as an assault on the sovereignty of our nation.
“It is reprehensible that Tinubu can create a rogue force just for the purposes of undermining the electoral and security arrangements of our nation.
“Our Campaign holds that this nefarious act of the APC Tinubu/Shettima Campaign lend credence to the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and well-meaning Nigerians that Tinubu as well as his rank and file has set out to make our nation ungovernable and therafter disrupt the 2023 Presidential election scheduled for February 25, 2023 using his army of ‘Jagabandits’”
He noted that notion of Jagaban Army is a ploy to bring hoodlums, thugs and gangsters together under the cover of the APC and turned them into official militia that will be used to unleash mayhem on the day of election.
“This reckless anti-democratic plot by the ‘Jagabandits’ must also be condemned by all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and across the world over.
“We call on the security agencies to save the lives of Nigerians and protect our electoral process by immediately going after this dangerous formation, arrest those behind this design and save our nation from electoral violence.
“Our campaign counsels Tinubu to note that his Presidential ambition is not a do or die affair and that he should not set the nation ablaze just because Nigerians have rejected him and his party, the APC for their mass failures.
“Nigerians have settled for the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who continues to exhibit maturity, experience and capacity to deliver, and not even the ‘Jagabandits’ of the APC can cow them to submission.
The APC Youth Leader, Dayo Israel, while reacting to the backlash of the “Jagaban Army”, on Monday, argued that the ‘Army’ in the name doesn’t equate the military or paramilitary.