The US chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says whether Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), visits the US or not, his character remains "questionable".
This was contained in a statement issued by Adesegun Labinjo, Chairman of the US chapter of the party, on Friday.
Until Thursday, Atiku had not visited the US in more than 10 years, as a result of allegations of corruption-related matters, including one involving US congressman Williams Jefferson which claimed that part of the $100,000 cash found in his refrigerator was intended as bribe for Atiku for his role in helping American firm iGate secure a contract to expand broadband in Nigeria.
However, he landed at the Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday evening, accompanied by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Speaking on the visit, Labinjo said although the party had no objection to Atiku's visit to the US, “the questionable character of the individual does not evaporate because he has stepped on the soil of America”.
The statement continued: “A thief remains a thief no matter where he or she visits. Obviously, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has every reason to have kept off the USA given the cloak of corruption he is wearing.
“After a long spell of noticeable absence and factual concerns about Alhaji Abubakur Atiku’s antecedents in the USA arising from his dealings with former Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana, who was convicted and served a jail term on account of bribery resulting from a telecommunication transaction in Nigeria, Atiku is now here again in the US.
“Congressional records point to the fact that Atiku engaged in money laundering through his wife who was then resident in the USA. We see Atiku, who is the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria, as a self-centered corrupt Vice President under President Obasanjo’s regime.
“Certainly, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku‘s entry and presence in the USA is a mockery of President Bush Presidential Proclamation 7750 which affirms the denial of US visa to foreign officials involved with corruption and other supporting legislations by the congress. APC-USA believes that Alhaji Abubakar Atiku should be held accountable for his involvement in money laundering.”