By AbdulRaheem Aodu
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state said he never owned Transcorp shares to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, noting that the former vice president’s ambition for 2019 may have caused the lies being spewed out against him.
Responding to allegations by Atiku that he rejected Transcorp shares offered him by el-Rufai during their government, the former FCT minister said he didn’t only rejected the shares, but also prevailed upon former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, not to accept the shares to avoid conflicts of interest, wondering why he would offer same to Atiku.
El-Rufai, in a statement he personally signed, urged the former vice president to explain his shenanigans from the Ericsson manoeuvre, the Abuja water treatment plant contract, the PTDF imbroglio, as well as findings of the United States Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations on wire transfers of over $40 million from offshore companies like Siemens into bank accounts controlled by him and one of his wives rather than indulge in fight for the big prize.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubukar has a record of spewing outright lies and innuendo against my person.
I never had anything to do with the incorporation of Transcorp. Those that established that company and fronted it like Festus Odimegwu, Tony Elumelu, Otunba Lawal Solarin and Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke are still around and alive. As such I could not have and did not offer Alhaji Atiku any shares in Transcorp. I declined the shares that were offered to me. Having done that, how could I have offered anyone shares?
“I advised President Obasanjo, Alhaji Atiku and then Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, not to accept the shares that were then being offered by the promoters of Transcorp.
“My counsel to them was based on the grounds that they would face conflicts of interest when Transcorp bids for privatization assets. At the time Alhaji Atiku and Ngozi were chair and vice-chair of the National council on Privatization, and were particularly directly involved in approving the sales of state-owned enterprises and assets.
“It is too late in the day to try to pretend that the fiasco concerning the attempt by then Senators Ibrahim Mantu and Jonathan Zwingina to extort money from me for Senate clearance never happened. All Alhaji Atiku has just done is confirm that he paid the Senators, as I revealed in Page 139 of my book”, he said.