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American Journalist Suggests Atiku Paid $540,000 To Get Into USA

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American Journalist Suggests Atiku Paid $540,000 To Get Into USA - Happynaija.com
American Journalist Suggests Atiku Paid $540,000 To Get Into USA - Happynaija.com
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American Journalist Suggests Atiku Paid $540,000 To Get Into US

Judd Legum, a journalist and former research director of the

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, says Atiku Abubakar paid

as much as $540,000 to get his way into the US.

In his article titled “What does a $1.1 million lobbying contract

buy in Trump’s Washington?” Legum said the Peoples Democratic

Party’s deal with Brian Ballard, a top lobbyist with deep connections

to the Trump administration, was instrumental to Atiku’s trip.

READ MORE: Atiku Visits US Congress Meets Trump’s Allies

 

American Journalist Suggests Atiku 2 Paid $540,000 To Get Into USA - Happynaija.com
American Journalist Suggests Atiku Paid $540,000 To Get Into USA – Happynaija.com

Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, did not pick calls or reply messages

sent to his phoneto comment on the report.

 

In November 2018, Atiku’s party, the PDP, signed a deal with

Ballard to enhance US-Nigeria relations, with a focus to

“maintaining  political and security conditions free of intimidation

and interference”.

 

“It shall be the Firm’s duty to consult with the Client and advocate

on its behalf those issues the client deems necessary and appropriate

before the US Federal government,” contract papers seen.

 

“Issues and objectives may include, but not be limited to, enhancement

of US Nigerian relations; strengthening and advancing democratic

values and the rule of law in Nigeria, with a special focus in the coming

months on maintaining political and security conditions free of

intimidation and interference in order to ensure the success and

fairness of Nigeria’s national election for president in 2019.”

 

Atiku, the former vice-president of Nigeria, had not visited the

US for 12 years and the leading opposition party mocked him for it.

 

Legum said “a former U.S. government official confirmed to Popular

Information that Abubakar was formally barred from obtaining a

visa pursuant to a presidential proclamation targeting corrupt

foreign officials”.

 

READ MORE: Trump – We will Realease Fighter Jets To Nigeria Soon

 

He said the corruption allegations against Atiku are detailed in a 

2010 bipartisan report by the U.S. Senate,

“KEEPING FOREIGN CORRUPTION OUT OF THE UNITED STATES:

FOUR CASE HISTORIES.”

 

He said Atiku was also implicated in the investigation of

William Jefferson,the former Congressman who is serving

a 13-year sentence for corruption, although the PDP candidate 

has repeatedly denied all allegations of corruptionin the report

and has never been charged for any criminal offence.

 

PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION 7750

Before 2018, Atiku had spoken openly about his inability to secure

a US visa.

He said in December 2017: “It is the sole prerogative of America

to determine who they want in their country or not.

 

I’m not running away from America. I applied, but wasn’t issued a visa.”

 

Legum added that Atiku’s inability to enter the US may be as a

result of the Presidential Proclamation 7750 signed by

President George Bush, which bans entry for current and former

corrupt foreign officials especially those whose corruption has

a nexus in the country. 

 

READ MORE: 2019 Election: Atiku Will Defeat Buhari

 

“The US government does not publicly disclose why individuals are

denied visas. But a former government official who has seen the

documentation confirmed to Popular Information that Abubakar,

until very recently, was banned from obtaining a US visa under

Proclamation 7750,” he wrote.

 

He said this led Atiku’s team into hiring Ballard, who chaired the

Trump Victory Organization in Florida and “lobbied on behalf of

the Trump Organization in the state for more than a decade.”

 

READ MORE: Ibrahim Shekarau Returns To APC From PDP

 

He said the contract required an immediate payment of $270,000 with

another $270,000 due in late December 2018.

 

READ MORE: Ohanaeze Endorses Atiku For President

 

“A month later, Atiku is in the US — and back in Nigeria for a stronger

campaign for the presidency,”  Legum wrote.

“Now Abubakar is back in Nigeria, buoyed by his trip to the United States

as his campaign enters its final days. His campaign slogan is Trumpian:

‘Let’s get Nigeria working again.’”

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