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All You Need to Know about My Son-in-law, N50m Donation and Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, By Atiku

A former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, Monday reacted to the allegation that he donated N50 million in a shady deal to Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta through his son-in-law, Babalele Abdullahi.

The Nation Newspaper had earlier reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had searched the library for documents over a purported donation by Babalele who is the Director of Finance of Atiku’s group of companies.

Atiku, in a statement by his media office on Monday said: “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 Presidential Library.”

According to him, “Yes, he (Babalele) did facilitate a donation of N50 million to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, but so did many other individuals, including civic-minded traditional rulers, state governors, bankers and captains of industry.

Atiku, in a statement by his media office on Monday said: “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 Presidential Library.”

According to him, “Yes, he (Babalele) did facilitate a donation of N50 million 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.

“Unlike another past leader, who did not improve himself or Nigeria after leaving office, but sat down nursing grudges and plotting revenge, former president Olusegun Obasanjo improved himself and Nigeria by authoring books, founding international think-tanks and engaging in peace and capacity building efforts.”

The former vice president said donations to institutions set up to promote peace in Nigeria and Africa are to be commended not criminalised, explaining that such presidential libraries in America and other parts of the world are similarly funded by donations from civic-minded individuals.

He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, Mallam Abdullahi’s donation of N50 million was made via a bank transfer, in full compliance with the law. He did not donate or make any payment in cash, as the EFCC is erroneously and salaciously misleading the public.”

The statement pointed out that the sources of these funds are completely legitimate and have been conclusively proven to the EFCC, stating that “it’s instructive to note that even the EFCC has not once claimed these funds are proceeds of any illegal activity whatsoever.”

Atiku alleged that there’s desperation on the part of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rope in former president Obasanjo into a crime as a way of silencing his voice, which government sees as too critical.

The presidential candidate further alleged that this was why the Buhari government asked the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to falsely include his name in a published list of tax evaders, along with the names of other PDP sympathisers, including Davido, who played a prominent role in the party’s gubernatorial campaign in Osun State, for which he’s being punished.

“We are therefore calling on Nigerians to be watchful of false and misleading stories planted in the media by the EFCC against Atiku Abubakar, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and other persons deemed to be opponents of this government.

“Let it be known that former president Olusegun Obasanjo established the EFCC to be an investigative body and not a propaganda or enforcement arm of the ruling party, as it is now being misused.

“May we also add that whenever the EFCC wishes to come up with mischief, the commission flies its kite in The Nation Newspaper. This is now a pattern. It should be clear to Nigerians that the Presidency, APC, the EFCC, the FIRS and The Nation are now working together as five fingers of the same leprous hands,” Atiku said

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