Thursday 27 December 2018

Why Atiku May Not Visit America Any Time Soon - The Guardian

Former Nigerian vice president and the People's Democratic Party's presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar may not visit the United States any time soon.

“What will I even go to do in America," Abubakar said during an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America.

The opposition candidate is being dogged by allegations of corruption.

He and his fourth wife Jennifer Douglas, an American citizen, were allegedly indicted in 2010in a 328-page American Senate committee report for transferring over $40 million "suspect funds" to America from offshore accounts between 2002 and 2008.

Abubakar served as Nigerian vice president between 199 and 2007.

"Ms Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd," the Carl Levin-led Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation said on page 173 of its report.

Although Abubakar has not visited the United States since he was indicted, he has maintained that he did not wrong.

He insisted he can be Nigerian president without visiting America, one of Nigeria's most important allies.

In November, the Director General of the Atiku campaign organisation, Gbenga Daniel, says officials of the United States have hinted that Abubakar would get a U.S. visa if he applies for one.

"I can also confirm to you that in last few days that there have been signals from the American officials that he (Atiku) should indeed come forward so he can be granted a visa. So between you and I, all the issues are perception,” Daniel said in an interview on Channels Television programme, Politics Today.

Till date, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and the State Department in Washington have declined to clarify issues around Abubakar’s visa, despite numerous media enquiries.

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