The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has revealed that he gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) N300 million to fight corruption when the commission was launched in 2004.
Atiku made this revelation on Wednesday in Abuja during a town hall meeting organized by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Daria Media with support from the MacArthur Foundation tagged: “The Candidates“
The PDP presidential candidate was asked how he would make the anti-graft agency independent and able to discharge its duties on time without preferential treatment. He said:
“My quarrel with the judicial system is that there is too much delay. If we can shorten the delay, so that justice is seen to be meted out immediately, better for us.
“The problem is the legislation and the procedure being adopted by the judiciary. The cases we initiated in our administration are still in court. Now, where is the justice?
“When we set up the EFCC, I personally brought the first draft of the regulation from Brazil and it was based on that draft that the EFCC legislation was drafted.
“When it was finally passed by the national assembly, EFCC did not even have the money in the budget to start operation. I borrowed them N300m from the privatisation proceeds and said ‘you better get to work’.
“The following year when there was budgetary allocations, they repaid the money. Most of the convictions that we are hearing today were cases that we started in our administration,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a United States Senate report had accused Atiku Abubakar of laundering over $40 million in suspicious funds into the United States between 2000 and 2008, using his fourth wife, Jennifer.
According to the report, which was written by the US Senate Sub-committee on Investigations, most of the funds were through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.
Atiku during the town hall meeting, refuted allegation by saying his wife had never been indicted or accused of such offense. He said:
“My wife was not indicted and was not charged, so I have no way you can hold her accountable. The company was fined for a number of offences committed, not necessarily for anything to do with my wife. My wife is an American citizen so there is no way that she would not have been charged.”
Asked if his wife has been traveling to America since then, Atiku responded to the positive saying “Yes, she has been traveling to America very often.”