The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to annul the election of Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Baguda, for alleged money laundering.
PDP candidate in the April 11 governorship election in Kebbi State, Major General Bello Sarkin Yaki (rtd), who along with two others, instituted a criminal case against the governor, said that Bagudu lied in Form C.F. 001 he filed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that he has never been sentenced or convicted for an offence by the court of law.
In Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/312/2015, the plaintiffs stated that contrary to claims by the governor, he was arrested in Houston, Texas, United States of America, on May 22, 2003, based on extradition warrant requested by Britain on behalf of Isle of Jersey.
The case comes up this Thursday, December 10.
The plaintiffs, in their affidavit, alleged that the governor was being wanted in Britain on three-count charge of: fraudulent transfer of money from Nigeria to Deutsche bank; making false declarations to open the bank account and using Federal Government of Nigeria’s fund to purchase notes that the Federal Government of Nigeria had defaulted on, then selling them back to the Federal Government of Nigeria for twice the purchase price.
“While being held in detention in the United States of America for the above stated financial crimes, the 1st Defendants agreed to transfer about $300 million being proceed of the fraudulent transfer of money from Nigeria to the Deutsche Bank back to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the plaintiffs said in the affidavit.
Apart from Bagudu, INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are also defendants in the suit.
The plaintiffs added that after paying $500 million bond, the governor was allegedly released from a six-month detention at an American prison by a US Magistrate, Calvin Botley, on the condition that he would transfer $300 million to the Federal Government of Nigeria and return to Nigeria and face charges of money laundering.
According to the plaintiffs, the US government, on November 18, 2013, instituted a forfeiture proceeding in US district court against Bagudu “for the forfeiture of five corporate entities and over $500 million in other assets involved in international conspiracy to launder proceeds of corruption in Nigeria during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. The said corporate entities and assets were all traced to the 1st Defendant and other persons named in the case….”
They alleged that in paragraph 11 of the verified complaint, the governor was described as “an associate of General Abacha and his sons who participated in the conspiracy to steal and launder hundreds of million dollars….”
The plaintiffs, therefore, asked the court to nullify and void all rights, benefits or privileges conferred on or accorded Bagudu as governorship candidate in Kebbi State.
They also requested the court to declare as wasted, all votes garnered by the governor, at the April 11 gubernatorial election in Kebbi State and declare Yari, the PDP candidate, who came second, as the actual winner of the election.