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Just barely 24 hours after former
Vice-President Atiku Abubakar absolved himself of complicity in the
Halliburton scandal, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has
said that Atiku is being haunted the demons of corruption.

 El-Rufai said Atiku was culpable in the
Halliburton scandal that consumed American congressman, William
Jefferson, who bagged a jail term in the United States of America.
In a statement he personally signed,
el-Rufai, who dared Atiku to visit the United States of America if he
was not culpable in the wiring of $40m to the US, implied that the
former vice-president could not visit the US as a result of the scandal.
The statement entitled, “Atiku haunted
his corrupt demons,” urged Atiku to come clean with the findings of
the report of the United States’ Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on
Investigations which detailed the wire transfers involving the $40m from
offshore companies.
El-Rufai alleged that the offshore companies wired funds into accounts controlled Atiku and one of his wives.
Accusing the former vice-president of
being obsessed with the ambition of becoming the President of Nigeria,
the governor said the chieftain of the Atiku was fond of spewing out
lies in an attempt to “rejuvenate his image”.
He said Atiku’s vaunting ambition made
him (Atiku) support a particular group during the leadership struggle
within the National Assembly, stressing that the action was disrespect
for the wish of President Muhammadu Buhari.
 El-Rufai said, “This statement is
issued in response to the latest falsehoods emerging from Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar. He has a record of spewing outright lies and innuendos against
my person. As we struggle to build a law-abiding society and secure
progressive outcomes for our people, we cannot allow the triumph on
these shores of those who will have us move to a post-factual world.
 “Not even from a man as practised as
Alhaji Atiku is in the dark arts of damaging other people through a
campaign of lies from him and his media machine. Therefore, I am
constrained to provide a response to the fake news and irresponsible
revision of recent history Alhaji Atiku.
“The report detailing the US Senate
findings is online. Alhaji Atiku should tell a better tale of why he is
avoiding the United States of America.
“I never had anything to do with the
incorporation of Transcorp. Those that established that company like
Festus Odimegwu, Tony Elumelu, Otunba Lawal Solarin and Ndi
Okereke-Onyiuke are still around and alive. As such, I could not have,
and did not offer Alhaji Atiku any shares in Transcorp. I declined the
shares that were offered me. Having done that, how could I have offered
anyone shares?”
In an interview Atiku granted to a quarterly magazine published the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Zero Tolerance, the former vice-president accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of scheming to make himself life president.
Atiku also said that the pioneer
Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had apologised to him for
accusing him of corruption, stressing that Obasanjo and his aides
decided to tag him as a corrupt person because he foiled the life
presidency bid of Obasanjo.
He said, “Did he give any evidence or
prove where I was corrupt? Again, this is the same el-Rufai whom I was
instrumental in bringing into government and making him Director General
of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and eventually a minister.
“So, where is the evidence of
corruption? It’s just not fair for you to say somebody is corrupt
without substantiation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV
that he worked with me as DG of BPE for four years and there was never a
time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those
“So, how am I a corrupt person? This is
the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time
as Vice-President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them
officially to say it was unethical of me to accept those offers. So,
where is the corruption toga coming from?”
When contacted, the Director, Atiku
Media Office, Paul Ibe, said he had seen Nasir el-Rufai’s statement and
that the office was preparing a response.
“We are preparing a response,” he said. (Punch)

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