The PTDF Saga

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The PTDF Saga: The Real Issues At Stake

 

By

 

Jide Ayobolu

jideayobolu@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

November 1, 2006

 

The warped EFCC and kangaroo administrative report that purported claim to indict the vice president has thrown up a lot of very fundamental issues in the past few weeks. First, it is not true that the probe of the PTDF funds started with the letter written to Obasanjo by Jefferson complaining about a business transaction that went awry, however, the truth of the matter is that, Otunba Fasawe has sought President Olusegun ObasanjoĎs support to get the America government to help him retrieve his $6.5 million trapped in the hands of Jefferson and iGate. Two, the PTDF is a fund which conducts its operations with income revenue generated through the investment of its funds. It does not seek nor ever got FEC approval for such investment. The $125million that was approved by FEC was not investment. It was for projects and programmes of the PTDF. Three, the deposit of funds in banks did not require the approval of FEC and as such, no one breached any regulation by not getting an approval. The agency of government saddled with the responsibility of supervising such venture is the office of the Accountant General of the federation (AGF). Four, the choice of ETB and TIB is also not arbitrary as EFCC report makes it took.

 

The two banks at all material time were duly certified among banks that could receive government investment. Five, the banks which are in business to play intermediary role in the economy have the free will to lend their money to whoever they like as long as such people satisfy their criteria. Six, Globacom has demonstrated through numerous advertisements that it paid the $180million license through a credit facility from BNP Paribas, eight months before the investment of PTDF funds in ETB. Perhaps, the most telling evidence that Globacom could not have relied on the PTDF fund to pay for its license was the fact it secured $240million from the same BNP Paribas to pay for its abortive GSM license almost two years earlier. Seven, all records show that the in investment ETB has been fully returned to government with interest, and the one in TIB has been acquired as a liability by Spring Bank which acquired TIB in the last bank consolidation exercise. Eight, the MOFAS account which the EFCC claimed is the conduit pipe through which the PTDF funds was siphoned is indeed a campaign account jointly managed by president Obasanjo and vice president Abubakar. Nine, Atikuís contention is that, if the EFCC duly acknowledges the presidentís expenses from that account as having no relationship with the PTDF fund, it should also acknowledge that his own expenses from the account are not linked to the PTDF. Ten, president Obasanjo has used his utilized his legendary native intelligence to cleverly weave the campaign account expenses of Atiku to the PTDF fund to establish a case against him.

 

Hence, the position canvassed by both the illogical EFCC and kangaroo administrative panel report are the presidentís position which is deliberately meant to discredit vice president Atiku Abubakar, so that, he would not be able to contest for the 2007 presidential election, this in the calculation and estimation of the president, would enable him to stay on in power indefinitely beyond the time that is constitutionally allowed. It is this obsession to hang on to power in ad infinitum that has continued to drive the president to behave senselessly in taking key national decisions. Again, it must be clearly stated that in all the reports, nowhere was it said that, Atiku benefited directly and indirectly from the PTDF funds, two, no more money was said to be missing, therefore, the VP has done wrong, and therefore, qualified to contest for the 2007 presidential elections. However, the vice president in his reply has explained very explicitly that the reports are a bundle of contradiction. It is specifically done to smear the good name of the vice president, and ensure that, it becomes practically impossible for him to contest for the highest post in the country.

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