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ATIKU HAS DETAILS OF 52 DISPUTED SUIT CASES, SAYS BUHARI

By NBF News
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THE presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and former head of state, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has said erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar is best placed to speak on the controversial 52 diplomatic suit cases.

Buhari, who debunked the allegation by the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he exhibited double standards in 1984 by allowing bags suspected to be filled with hard currencies into the country, described the claim as 'nonsense,' saying he was not caught with the bags.

He was accused of using his then Aide de Camp (ADC) to bring in the suit cases at a time he was fighting money laundering.

The PCC in a statement had dismissed the anti-corruption posturing of Buhari and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), standardbearer, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, saying their submissions on the issue at the presidential debate on Friday were hypocritical and self-serving.

Buhari explained that his Chief Protocol, who he identified as Ambassador Dahiru came in to the country from Saudi Arabia on a new assignment with three wives and 15 children, adding that all their belongings were scrutinized, including his handbag.

The CPC standard bearer said Abubakar, who was the customs officer in charge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport at the time should be in the best position to explain what transpired, adding that as head of state, he was at Dodan Barracks, the then seat of power, carrying out his duties.

'That is nonsense, I didn't travelled then and I explained that I don't know how many times we stopped vehicles of people coming back for their luggage to be searched, but then there was my late Chief Protocol, Ambassador Dahiru, he had three wives and 15 children, he was coming from Saudi Arabia from posting into a new assignment and those who cleared his luggage counted them, including his hand bag.

'You can imagine three women and 15 children and everything was counted. Former Vice President was the Customs officer in charge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport then, so you go and ask Atiku Abubakar for the details. I was just sitting in Dodan Barracks as head of state,' he said.

Buhari, who was in Dutse, Jigawa State for his campaign, told reporters that he was optimistic that the alliance between his party and the ACN would still work.

He said the country is lucky to have Prof. Attahiru Jega as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and added that the awareness among voters gives him the greatest hope.

His interaction with reporters went this way:
The PDP reacted to your claims on corruption during the Presidential Debate, saying that you are not a saint after all. They accused your government of money laundering citing the 52 suit cases. What is your reaction?

That is nonsense, I didn't travel then and I explained that I did not know how many times we stopped vehicles of people coming back for their luggage to be searched, but then there was my late Chief Protocol, Ambassador Dahiru, he had three wives and 15 children, he was coming from Saudi Arabia from posting into a new assignment and those who cleared his luggage counted them including his hand bag. You can imagine three women and 15 children and everything was counted.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officer in charge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport then, so you go and ask him for the details. I was just sitting in Dodan Barracks as head of state.