Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has denied reports suggesting that he and his family are under the surveillance by authorities in the United States.
Reports had on Monday stated that an agency of the United States Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN, “flagged some transactions linked to the Atiku as suspicious, in its surveillance of money movements within the international system.”
However, Paul Ibe, Atiku’s spokesman, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the reports are “recycled and regurgitated lies about the person of Atiku Abubakar.”
The statement read partly: “For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar is not under any US watch list, neither has he been charged, or will ever be charged by the United States Justice Department or any other in a foreign jurisdiction.
“It will be recalled that these recycled lies were re-unearthed just before the February 23, 2019, Presidential election, and to put paid to them, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, applied for and received a US visa, whereupon he embarked on a visit to the United States on January 17, 2019. He stayed at a hotel just miles to the United States Department of Justice.
“Atiku Abubakar in the course of that trip was also received in audience, by officials of the United States Government.
“These ‘new’ reports are a desperate gambit to recast these discredited accusations. They are meant to divert the attention of Nigerians from the recent statement by the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Mike Pompeo, announcing visa and travel bans for certain unnamed but notorious individuals.
“Moreover, the timing of this report, less than 24 hours after the Edo state gubernatorial elections, should give some thought to thinking people.
“And considering the season that we are in, more of such jaundiced stories seeking to discredit Atiku Abubakar would come. However, it needs to be reiterated that the former Vice President and every member of his family keeps a clean business portfolio that has nothing to do with government resources and in conformity with local and foreign laws of respective countries.”