Atiku’s extradition imminent as FG begins secret talk with US
..Why Atiku can never visit US
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Following Sunday’s emergence of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as the presidential candidate of the PDP, the federal government has began secret talks with its United States counterpart on the way to effect an imminent extradition of the former Nigerian vice president.
Recall that Atiku was in 2010 indicted by the US Senate Sub Committee on Investigations for a $40 million dollars fraud.
The fraudulent act which was done by Alhaji Atiku while he was vice president to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo also involved his fourth wife, Ms Jennifer Douglas who was known as Jamilah Jenifer or Jennifer Iwenjora while she was working with the Nigerian Television Authority.
Nigerian Concord sources at the Presidency hinted that the emergence of Atiku came as a rude shock to President Muhammadu Buhari who immediately summoned a meeting with his vice, Yemi Osibajo, and Minister for Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami.
Nigerian Concord gathered that it was at the secret meeting that Malami was instructed to open up a conversation with the United States Department of Justice on how the former vice president can be extradited.
Extraditing Atiku, according to Osibajo who himself is a lawyer would weaken the PDP’s chance of wrestling power with Mr. President in the 2019 general elections.
Our sources said that the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami, has opened a secret conversation with the United States Attorney General, Mr. Jeff Sessions, with a worded request from the federal government to ensure that Atiku is sent to the US to face cases of multiple corruption against him.
It was learnt that the Nigerian government has now urged the US government to prepare a request that the former Vice president be extradited.
However, it was unclear as at the time of filing this report if the US government has agreed to make an extradition request on Abubakar Atiku.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was in 2010 indicted by the United States Senate Sub-Committee on Investigations for a $40 million fraud but the circumstance in which the report was carpeted is calling for answers.
The report which was made available to the federal government under Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 by the US Senate Subcommittee on Investigations named former vice president Atiku’s partner in the lucrative effort as Jennifer Douglas, his fourth wife.
But immediately the report was released, Atiku used his influence to ensure that it didn’t get to the press.
According to the report: “Most of the funds were through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts. Of the $40 million identified in the US investigation, $25 million was reportedly wire-transferred by offshore corporations into more than 30 U.S. bank accounts opened by Ms. Douglas, primarily by Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., LetsGo Ltd. Inc., and Sima Holding Ltd”
In a 2008 civil complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2 million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002, from Siemens AG, a major German corporation.
The report also said that while Ms. Douglas denies wrongdoing till today, Siemens has already pleaded
guilty to U.S. criminal charges and settled civil charges related to bribery and told the Subcommittee that it sent the payments to one of her U.S. accounts.
The report also recalled the 2006/2007 corruption brouhaha in Nigeria between Abubakar and then President Olusegun Obasanjo over the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
It continued that at that time, both a government panel and an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission panel found Atiku guilty of diverting funds meant for the Fund’s operations nationwide to
various banks to promote his private interests. Obasanjo dismissed his own extensive gains from the account as pointed out by Abubakar as mere “gifts” over which he had no control.
The report went on: “The U.S. banks maintaining those accounts were, at times, unaware of her PEP (Politically Exposed Person) status, and they allowed multiple, large offshore wire transfers into her
As each bank began to question the offshore wire transfers, Ms. Douglas indicated that all of the funds came from her husband and professed little familiarity with the offshore corporations actually sending her money. When one bank closed her account due to the offshore wire transfers, her lawyer helped convince other banks to provide a new account.
”In addition, two of the offshore corporations wire transferred about $14 million over five years to
American University in Washington, D.C., to pay for consulting services related to the development of a Nigerian university founded by Mr. Abubakar. American University accepted the wire transfers without asking about the identity of the offshore corporations or the source of their funds, because under current law, the University had no legal obligation to inquire.” said the report.
During that time, Human Rights Crusaders, a United States-based human rights group, called on former President Barrack Obama and the US Judiciary to revisit the 40 Million US Dollars money laundering allegation involving the former vice president.
In a press statement obtained by Nigerian Concord, the human rights group, through its National Coordinator, Mr. Kelvin Smith, said that it was important for the Obama-led government to act on this issue that had been jettisoned for many years now, in order to sever as a deterrent to other corrupt leaders in Nigeria and the African continent.
Human Rights Crusaders also urged Barrack Obama and the United States Judiciary to join forces with the Nigerian government to eradicate corruption from the Africa’s largest nation, stressing that the effort would further strengthen the US-Nigerian relationship.
The Nigerian Coalition Against Corruption in Diaspora (NCACD), a United States based group also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to begin an urgent probe on Alhaji Atiku over the $40 million scam.
The group, through its President, Mr. Julovan Kotunfala, in an exclusive interview Nigerian Concord added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should continue to disqualify the Atiku from contesting in future elections in the country.
Mr. Kotunfala pressed further that the group and other Nigerian anti-corruption groups in diaspora would truncate every effort by corrupt people to govern the affairs of the country come 2019, adding that it was a thing of shame that none of the anti-corruption agencies in the country had been able to bring Ahlaji Atiku to book ever since the indicting report came out from the U.S. Senate.
He also said that the group had sent petitions to the international community regarding the corrupt practices of some of the top officials of Nigerian Diplomatic Missions and Embassies abroad, stressing that their names would soon be released to the media.