1st May, 2022
Former Commissioner of Information in Edo State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has called for the extradition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the United States over lingering corruption allegations that have trailed him for years and led to the imprisonment of a US political official.
He made this call in a statement released on Sunday where he frowned at the impunity of Atiku vying for the country’s presidency when, according to him, he ought to visit the United States of America to answer to the weighty allegations against him, including reports of underhand financial transactions involving his said ex-wife, Ms. Jennifer.
Afegbua said, “Rather than seek election under the umbrella of the PDP in 2023, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will do well to visit the United States of America to resolve his lingering corruption allegations which have led Senator Jefferson to jail.
“The outcome of an investigation against him and his “former” wife Jennifer revealed a lot of underhand transactions bordering on money laundering and other financial malfeasance.
“The onerous thing to do was for him to visit the United States of America to answer to those weighty allegations which were the outcome of the comprehensive investigations carried out by the United States Congress.”
“In the 2019 presidential campaigns, we were inundated with several news reports, demanding that our party candidate should visit America. When the request became so compelling, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was reportedly granted waiver by the United States Consular office in Lagos to enable him visit the United States with the then Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.
“After that visit till date, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has not been able to visit America again ostensibly on the stretch of those weighty allegations which have not been dispensed with.
“The entire report of the US Congress copiously indicted Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on issues concerning money laundering. It will make judicious sense if the United States Government is able to treat this pending matter once and for all, by way of extraditing the former Vice President to answer those lingering queries on financial impropriety.”
Afegbua said as an alumnus of the Les Aspin School of Government and Good Governance, Washington DC, he was exposed to the rudiments of anti-corruption studies in 2004 and thus feels “patriotically disturbed that those who should be cooling off in jail, are still walking the streefts as free men and even trying to run for the highest office in the land.”
He called on the United States Government to “commence the process of inviting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the United States to face those charges without further delay.”
Alleging threat to his life over his opposition to the aspiration of Atiku and other northern aspirants he deems running against the run of play, Afegbua urged the United States Government to expedite action of the matter in the interest of the rule of law, justice, and transparency.
“The earlier Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is made to face the full wrath of the law, the better for our anti-corruption crusade, and the best for our fledgling democracy. I am a Nigerian who desires to see a more pro-active government that would respond positively to the yearnings and aspirations of its citizenry. A stitch in time, saves nine. This is the time to act and urgently too,” he concluded.