The campaign organization of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu applauded opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.
The comments follow the former vice president’s TV interview that aired on Friday.
In a statement signed by Bayo Onanugu, director of media and communications for the Tinubu campaign, the organization portrayed Mr Abubakar as untrustworthy with public funds, referring to his stint with the Nigerian Customs Service.
The statement described Mr. Atiku as “a man who is unprepared for the job he is applying for and a man who cannot be trusted with our common good”.
“It was very shocking that Atiku admitted that he had cheated the system for decades and committed serious misconduct as a government employee,” the statement read. “As a customs officer at the Idi-Iroko border, Atiku disclosed that he ran a commercial taxi service, saying that “there is no law preventing public officials from doing business in Nigeria”. He hit harder, saying there was no conflict of interest in doing so.
Mr Tinubu’s campaign organization cited Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution, saying that public servants must abide by a code of conduct and rules of service that prohibit officials and officials from engaging in private matters. while he is employed by the government to the detriment of the service which he is charged to render to the public.
“We wonder what rule or law Atiku was relying on for his gross misconduct as a public officer. We believe that Atiku played with the system throughout his career in public service, culminating in the creation of Intel Logistics with the late Shehu Yar’Adua and some Italians, even when he was still in employment of the Nigerian Customs Service,” the statement continued.
Mr. Abubakar had worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to the rank of Deputy Director. He retired in April 1989 and went into business and politics full time.
Mr. Atiku was invited by Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, to set up Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES), a logistics company operating in ports.
In 2019, Mr Abubakar said he was allowed to buy significant shares in the private company. He maintained that he did not create the company but bought shares at the time.