The Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization, APCO, said the “invasion” of the presidential hopeful, Atiku Abubakar’s plane, was a ‘premeditated intimidation tactic’.
In a statement by APCO on Monday, it said the ruling All Progressives Congress had earlier accused Abubakar of having strategy meetings for the purpose of moving “illicit cash” into Nigeria and the APC ordered the security services to investigate Abubakar.
On November 5, in a series of tweets the APC Deputy spokesman, Yekini Nabena, called for an investigation into the meeting which was held in Dubai by Abubakar and some other members of PDP.
“Our intelligence, anti-graft and security agencies must be awake to its responsibility of investigating the Dubai meeting. Cash and carry politicians must be prevented from moving illicit cash around to induce voters and sponsor election violence and rigging,” Nabena tweeted.
APCO said the statement reveals the premeditated intention by the APC and Nigeria government to deliberately “embarrass and possibly to set Abubakar up for the crimes they had already officially accused him of in their statement.”
However, the minister of aviation Hadi Sirika said there was no ulterior motive behind the search.
He faulted Abubakar’s claim of intimidation as “mischievous”.
“For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through customs, immigration, health and security screening,” Sirika said.
“Where the aircraft is using the private, charter wing, as the PDP Candidate did, such arrivals are met by a team of the Immigration, Customs and other security agencies.”
The minister confirmed that Abubakar was truly searched by the officials of Task Force on Currency at the airport, he insisted that former vice president was “accorded full respect as a former Vice President of Nigeria.”
The campaign team said per the statement released last week the search was not a routine check, “but a deliberate attempt to intimidate him by those who have seen the political handwriting on the wall.”