A whistleblower, Michael Achimugu, has said he exposed the corruption allegation against the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to prevent Nigerians from making a great mistake by voting for him.
Atiku had admitted in a recorded phone call that he was involved in taking advantage of federal contracting expenditures.
In the viral audio shared by Atiku’s alleged former aide, the former vice-president narrated how he took charge of setting up onshore shell businesses which served as a conduit for siphoning significant sums from public works contracts for himself and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku could be heard saying, “You see, what happened was when we came into the office, I advised the president against open corruption. I told him ‘Give me three people you trust and I will prepare three companies for which they will be the subscribers or rather the directors.’
“So if there is any contract that we will give they will act as consultants and then they are given a fee and that fee is what we will now use to fund the party instead of engaging openly. So he gave me the name of (Oyewole) Fasawe, Andy Uba, and this late politician from Borno State whom he said died in a plane crash to serve as fronts. I now incorporated companies and put them as subscribers. One of the companies was Marine Float.”
In his reaction, the spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar/Ifeanyi Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Dino Melaye, had during an interview last week on Channels TV, denied that Achimugu was a media aide to Atiku, adding that he was being sponsored by the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Bola Tinubu, to distract Nigerians.
However, Achimugu, in an interview with Television Continental monitored by The PUNCH on Wednesday, explained that he was motivated to take on his former boss because he wanted to educate Nigerians and dissuade them from voting for Atiku as president.
He said, “There are basically two reasons which I have repeated over and over on social media. First is that young persons like myself who served politicians will never again be taken for granted. Second, it is to warn Nigerians and educate them before the elections to prevent them from making the greatest mistake ever.
“If Nigerians think that they have seen corruption before, let them wait until they make the mistake of voting the Atiku family into office.
“After a couple of years, I began to see so many other things within the family. There is this huge dysfunction that doesn’t speak well of the family. It lies behind the façade that people cannot really see, but I am a Nigerian; I have children and so do millions of other Nigerians and I understand that if this is allowed to fester, if this is promoted to Aso Rock, then the entire Nigeria will be shattered, so I decided to come out and try and prevent this from happening.”
Achimugu also admitted in the interview that he carried out many assignments for his former boss which he could not divulge publicly.
“At first, it was a father-son relationship. We were quite close. Sometimes he would ask me to come over to Dubai to meet with him. I have facilitated appointments of other media aides for him. I have secured admissions to schools for him. I have carried out a lot of assignments, some of which I will not be able to speak about on television.
“As I stated in my affidavit, my boss wasn’t the kind of man I could call randomly because he was always busy and most times his phone is not with him, so initially I had to record those calls so that I could play back instructions without having to revert to him and bother his schedule,” he added.