A coalition of civil societies, under the auspices of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, Wednesday protested at the United States Embassy in Abuja asking the US government not to grant a visa to former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku is the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for the 2019 general elections.
The national chairman of the forum, Wole Badmus, who led the protest, read a letter addressed to the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, before a crowd.
He stated: “It was with highest level of discontent that we received an update of purported granting of entry visa to former vice president Atiku Abubakar to the United State of America last Friday. We were jolted that America being the bastion of democracy, rule of law and transparency in public administration can debauched into the abyss of being used by discredited and renowned financial criminals in our country to score cheap political goals.
“This is apart from the tacit and covert electoral gain such can confer him as the general correct perception in our country now is that an Atiku is being denied American Visa because of proven cases of money laundering and financial crimes against him.”
He alleged that the report of the US Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin submitted on February 4, 2010, “indicates that between 2006 and 2008, Jennifer Douglas, a US citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, helped her husband bring over $40m in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to US bank accounts.”
He also said Abubakar in 2007 was a subject of corruption allegations related to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund and “of the $40m in suspect funds, $25m was wire transferred by offshore corporations into more than 30 US bank accounts opened by Ms. Douglas.