Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has disclosed that officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested his son-in-law, Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi on Saturday morning. About two dozen EFCC officials stormed Abdullahi’s Maitama’s residence around 8.30am, according to a statement by Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe.
How it happened: The EFCC officials had an arrest warrant, but when they came to Abdullahi’s house, they were refused entry until his lawyers arrived. They reportedly found nothing in his house, and so they moved to his office at Oakland Centre in Maitama where they took away some documents of landed property. They also visited his Wuse residence where, according to the statement, they again found nothing incriminating after the search.
“Afterwards, Babalele was taken away to the EFCC office in Wuse to make a statement alongside Mr. Lawan Ayuba,” the statement said.
What is the problem?: The Atiku team does not provide much details apart from this line in the statement. “It was gathered that the petition relied upon to invade the residence and office of Babalele was authored by a brother of the wife of President Buhari.”
How the Atiku team is spinning it: According to the statement, the arrest of Abdullahi, who is also the finance director of Atiku’s group of companies, was in a bid to force Atiku to concede and congratulate President Buhari. The statement said Atiku “assures Nigerians that under no circumstance will he mortgage the mandate of Nigerians as freely expressed on the 23rd of February, 2019.”
“As a law abiding citizen, Atiku Abubakar recognizes the constitutional role of the EFCC and indeed any other agency of the government to carry out investigations, but will not be cowed by any attempt to blackmail him into mortgaging his mandate,” the statement said.