Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) carried out a raid on an Abuja apartment belonging to two sons of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
According to a report by Premium Times, the anti-graft agents invaded the residence belonging to Aliyu and Mustapha in the Maitama area of Abuja on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
The building was also reported to house another apartment owned by Chiemeka Orji, the son of former Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, who’s under EFCC investigation over how he managed state funds when he was governor between 2007 and 2015.
Even though Aliyu and Mustapha were not around, or even in the country, when the raid happened, operatives are reported to have forcibly searched the apartment looking for ‘a large cache of dollars’, according to a source that spoke to Premium Times.
The source said, “When the EFCC officers arrived on Saturday, they met Theodore Orji’s sons at home, because they both live in the same building.
“They asked to see the apartment of Aliyu and Mustapha Atiku-Abubakar but Theodore Orji’s sons refused to show them, saying their friends are out of the country, anyway.
“The EFCC operatives then said they have intelligence that a large cache of dollars had been kept in the apartment which they had come to recover. They forcibly searched the apartment, but there was no hard currency or anything that could be construed as fraudulently damning.”
The spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar family, Paul Ibe, described the raid as a “grievous act of intimidation” when he spoke to Premium Times on Sunday, December 9.
He said, “Atiku Abubakar is destined to win the 2019 presidential election, and Nigerians are set to ensure that destiny holds by voting for him en masse.
“The actors in Buhari’s government have now realised this possibility and are gripped by the fears of Atiku Abubakar. This grievous act of intimidation now has an expiry date that is dwindling faster than a twinkle.”
Even though Chiemeka was arrested alongside his brother by the anti-graft agents after the raid, he was later released. However, two vehicles belonging to them were confiscated by the EFCC.
EFCC spokesperson, Tony Orilade, told Premium Times that he has no immediate knowledge of the operation, but expressed strong doubts that the apartment belonging to Atiku’s sons could have been raided.
The raid follows a similar one on the apartment of Doyin Okupe, a PDP chieftain, by the EFCC. He raised alarm that agents invaded his house and accused him of cyber crime. He promised to turn himself in for questioning on Monday, December 10.
The PDP also publicly accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of freezing the bank accounts belonging to Atiku’s running mate, Peter Obi, and his familiy members.
The EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) denied placing any freezing order on such accounts.
Atiku is President Buhari’s biggest challenger for the 2019 presidential election scheduled for February 16, 2019.