An anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has filed a petition to the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) against the former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar for allegedly incorporating a Special-Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to embezzle government funds.
In a two-page petition document signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, titled “Petition Against Atiku Abubakar for Incorporating a Special-Purpose Vehicle (SPV); Marine Float Limited to Embezzle Government's Funds," the civil society group said Atiku in an audio recording, confessed to how he advised the then President Olusegun Obasanjo to name three individuals; Oyewole Fasawe, Andy Uba and a politician from Borno state (now late) while he prepared three companies which they would become either their subscribers or directors.
The petition reads further, "According to the Peoples gazette report published on 9th January 2023, Atiku Abubakar incorporated three companies, Special-purpose Vehicle, to embezzle government's fund through contracts award. One of the companies incorporated for that purpose is Marine Float."
Meanwhile, in the viral audio recorded by Atiku’s long-time close associate, Mike Achimugu, the politician further confessed to receiving N100 million bribe in the form of a donation from a former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, through Marine Float.
However, the organisation noted that the former Vice President's self-confession has not only confirmed the rotten state of public offices in Nigeria but also further confirmed the attempt of the commission to investigate some suspected corruption without uncovering Mr. Atiku's beneficial ownership of those companies.
HEDA further called on the anti-graft commission to diligently investigate the revelation and reopen the reported investigation to establish the beneficial interest of Mr. Atiku in Marine Float, and other Shell companies incorporated for corruption and diversion of public funds.
“We look forward to swift action on this petition and release of the report of investigation to the public before the upcoming general election," it said.
Similarly, the anti-corruption group also wrote a petition against Atiku to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) over the alleged use of a Special-Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to promote corruption while in office. The petition further noted that it is an indication that Nigeria has been under siege from the highest office and there is no statute of limitation on criminal matters.
It, therefore, called on the bureau to diligently investigate the allegation against the asset declarations submitted by Atiku.
It urged it to swiftly release the report of its investigation to prevent a corrupt individual from becoming the country’s president and getting to enjoy immunity.