No indictment against Atiku Abubakar in US – Report

Atiku Abubakar does not have indictments hanging over his head

Contrary to the widespread view that Atiku Abubakar have indictments hanging over his head, a report has claimed that the former vice president of Nigeria has no such fear.

Atiku who recently reopened the issue when he was interviewed by The Boss newspaper, published Saturday, dismissed about being barred from entering the United States and his being once denied a visa.

He however complicated matters when he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was barred from the US for 15 years, until 2015, a claim that was promptly debunked by the President’s handlers as ‘fictive concoction’.

At the moment, there is no known indictment filed against the former Nigerian leader in any US court, seven years after a Senate Report detailed money laundering activities against him, including being a recipient of a bribe by Siemens.

Also, United States diplomats in Nigeria, have been dodgy declaring his status.

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His political opponents had challenged him and even taunted him by urging him to go to the United States on a visit, to test whether he is wanted for any financial crime.

He is yet to take up the challenge as he brews another controversy.

What is known is that Abubakar was the subject of a probe ten years ago, by a United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin.

The probe was motivated by US government concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles, and the rule of law.

“It is also blamed for distorting markets, deterring investment, deepening poverty, undermining international aid efforts, and fostering crime.

“Some have drawn connections between corruption, failed states, and terrorism. Corruption also continues to be a massive problem.

“The World Bank has estimated that $1 trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year,” the committee noted in its bulky report.

Abubakar was not the only foreign Politically Exposed Person (PEP) probed by the committee.

He had company in Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, now the 48-year-old son of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the President of Equatorial Guinea (EG), late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo and three Angolan PEP accounts, involving an Angolan arms dealer, an Angolan government official, and a small Angolan private bank.

The committee submitted its report on 4 February 2010, three years after Abubakar left office.

The report unveiled violations of US laws by Abubakar and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas.

It also included revelations about Siemens bribe paid into one of the accounts, and it possibly provided the basis for Abubakar being barred from entering the United States, since then.

This report examines how politically powerful foreign officials, their relatives, and close associates – referred to in international agreements as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – have used the services of US professionals and financial institutions to bring large amounts of suspect funds into the United States to advance their interests.

Using four case histories, the report shows how some PEPs have used US lawyers, real estate and escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers, and even university officials, to circumvent US anti-money laundering and anti-corruption safeguards.

The Report also offers recommendations to stop the abuses.

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