Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki have denied having any links with arrested suspected fraudster, Hushpuppi.
Recall that the ruling party, APC released a statement in which it urged the EFCC and other security agencies to investigate the links between Hushpuppi and some PDP chieftains. The party in its statement said Hushpuppi has been photographed with Atiku and some other PDP stalwarts like Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye, and Yakubu Dogara and so they should be investigated to determine if they have any link with Hushpuppi.
Reacting to the statement by APC, Paul Ibe, media aide to the former Vice President, said the photo of Atiku and Hushpuppi making the rounds was a mere photo-op and not at any meeting as is being speculated.
Read the statement from Ibe below
”It is curious that the All Progressives Congress is mischievously trying to link Atiku Abubakar to the alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, AKA Hushpuppi, simply because he was photographed with Atiku at an event where many Nigerians had gathered.
For the avoidance of doubt, it was a mere photo-op and not at any meeting as being ingloriously speculated. We would advise the APC and Mr. Nabena to be very mindful of such senseless statements in the future especially as the case under reference is a subject of litigation in another country.
Had they been more sensitive, they would have come to terms with the reality that the case is a national embarrassment – not something to cheer about for any political blackmail.”
In a swift reaction, Saraki in a statement released by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described as irresponsible and cheap politics the statement from APC in which it tried to link him with Hushpuppi.
Saraki in the statement said he has no form of association with the said suspect, Ramon Abbas otherwise known as Hushpuppi and neither does he know him in any way.
“The statement credited to the APC, the ruling party in our country, is one of the ways by which our anti-graft agencies are weakened and why the fight against corruption in the country is often viewed with suspicion by the international community. This is because when these cyber-crime suspects were operating freely and openly displaying wealth, the APC saw nothing bad in their activities. Also, the party at that time did not deem it necessary to call on the anti-graft agencies to investigate their activities.
Also, since the arrest of those cyber crime suspects and the subsequent damage to the image and the economy of Nigeria as well as the crisis it created for Nigerians engaged in lawful businesses across the world, the ruling party had been muted. The only time the APC deemed it necessary to make a statement was when it thought it should play dirty, cheap and irresponsible politics.
Dr. Saraki was the only political leader who has publicly made a statement through an Op-Ed article published in the Daily Trust newspaper of July 1, 2020 titled “Cyber Criminals: Confronting The Few Who Dent Many” and this opinion article had been widely circulated online and on other platforms. In that article, he strongly condemned the activities of these cyber criminals and called on the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to make decisive interventions to checkmate their activities. He has also got a research institution, the Politeia Institute, whose board he chairs to commence a research on the best ways to tackle the menace.
Such a noble intervention in tackling a menace is what Dr. Saraki believes in, not mudslinging and playing politics at the expense of the nation’s image. At this point, we call on the APC leadership to rein in the so-called Yekini Nabena and compel him to desist from making and circulating such malicious, odious and offensive claims”, the statement concluded.