Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has denied hiring a US lobbyist firm to advance in his bid to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari. In a statement on Wednesday, Atiku, a former vice-president, said the reports of the alleged contract is a handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Atiku is at the presidential election tribunal to challenge the declaration of Buhari as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to a report by Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP), Bruce Fein, former justice department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC registered as foreign agents of PDP and Atiku on March 24.
The report said the firm is expected to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 209 presidential election until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation.”
But in the statement issued on his behalf by Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku dismissed the report as “total fabrication” by the APC, adding that it “didn’t come as a surprise to us because lying has become their only bragging rights of competence.”
The statement added that “since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections has exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.”
“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in the court,” the statement read. “For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken seriously by anybody.
“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians. “No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate.”