EFCC charge Atiku Abubakar’s lawyer with corruption

Legal advisor Uyi Giwa Osagie is accused of handling $2 million without going through a “financial institution”
Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
Candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar (L) speaks with PDP Chairman of Board of Trustees Walid Jibrin as they attend an emergency National Executive Committee party meeting in Abuja on February 19, 2019, ahead of rescheduled general elections. (Photo by Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP)

Nigerian anti-corruption investigators have charged the lawyer of defeated presidential challenger Atiku Abubakar with money laundering, an official said Friday.

Legal advisor Uyi Giwa Osagie is accused of handling $2 million without going through a “financial institution”, a lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told AFP.

Election runner-up Abubakar has launched a legal challenge against the result of the fiercely contested poll in February that saw him lose out to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Several people close to the defeated candidate have been targeted by the anti-graft agency since the vote, in what Abubakar’s supporters have described as a witch hunt. 

Osagie was first detained in February after his house was raided in Lagos but released from custody several weeks later. 

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Boladale Adekoya, a spokesman for Abubakar’s campaign accused anti-corruption investigators of being “more dedicated to partisanship than rule of law”.

“They are clearly acting on behalf of a higher authority,” he told AFP. 

Abubakar’s son-in-law was also detained in the wake of the election as part of a money-laundering probe but has yet to face charges.

Buhari swept to power in 2015 on a pledge to fight the rampant graft in Nigeria — but critics accused the former military ruler of using the crackdown to go after his opponents during his first term. 

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