The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, has been accused of complicity regarding bribery and misappropriation of public funds.
This came to light in a viral audio shared by Atiku’s former aide, Michael Achimugu, where the former vice-president allegedly admitted to having collected N100 million bribe from Mr Joshua Dariye, a former Plateau State governor, which was paid directly to Marine Float, one of the three firms he registered.Play audio
In the audio recording which Achimugu claimed was with Atiku, the former Vice President is heard explaining how he set up an ‘SPV -Special Purpose Vehicle’ to receive monies from corruption-related dealings.
During his tenure as governor from 1999 to 2007, Dariye was found to have stolen N2 billion in public funds. He was found guilty of criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.
“When the governor sent donations, he sent it to Marine Float. It stayed in Marine Float. One of the subscribers of Marine Float was Otunba Fasawe. That was where the N100 million went to. It did not go to Atiku Abubakar. It went to Marine Float. Marine Float was a special-purpose vehicle,” Atiku revealed in the YouTube phone recording.
Atiku said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had afterwards “very thoroughly” investigated Marine Float accounts but had still not “discovered anything” connecting him to the company’s fraudulent practices.
The former vice president also described how he was in charge of establishing onshore shell companies to operate as a conduit for taking large sums of money from public works contracts for himself and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said, “What happened was when we came into office and I advised the president against open corruption.
“I told him to give me three people you trust and I will prepare three companies in which they will be subscribers or rather the directors.
“So that if there is any contract that we give they will act like consultants and they are given a fee. That fee is what we use to fund the party.”
Atiku was accused by Nigerian senators in 2007 of misusing more than $100 million (£51 million) in taxpayer money for personal gain.
A Senate investigation suggested that Atiku be prosecuted for diverting funds to businesses he was associated with.
After the then-president, Obasanjo, transmitted accusations made against Atiku by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Senate opened the investigation.
The investigative panel acknowledged in a report given to the Senate that it concurred with the conclusion that Atiku had abetted in the transfer of $145 million from Nigerian government accounts to banks.
The panel’s research and conclusions, though, had no effect.
Last modified: January 11, 2023