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EXPOSED: Atiku Paid Experts N64.8m For US Trip, To Boost His Presidential Bid [DOCUMENTS ATTACHED]

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, has been found to have paid foreign experts up to $180,000, an equivalent of N64.8 million, to facilitate his January visit to the United States and get him recognized as president by the Government of the United States of America, documents obtained by the ICIR have shown.

To achieve the twin plan, different contracts were filed with the US Department of Justice in February and April this year by Abubakar, the PDP and those enlisted for the jobs.

Such documents are considered public records and their filing is required by the US Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

In one of the agreements with registration number 6637, Abubakar agreed to pay John Barnett $150,000 to facilitate a trip to Washington DC, the US capital.

Barnett, in a letter dated November 29, 2018, and written to Abubakar to accept his offer, agreed to facilitate his trip “for an event to be hosted on your behalf by the Atlantic Council on December 20, 2018, between 2-3pm.

“I, in conjunction with Bob Horn of the law firm Husch Blackwell will facilitate meetings with the Atlantic Council, US Aid, the US Chamber of Commerce and others based oh their availability during your visit to Washington, DC.”

Blackwell is a litigation and business law firm in the US with expertise in international trade, government contracts, information governance, public policy and government affairs.

“The primary purpose of setting up these meetings was to obtain a visa for Mr. Abubakar to come to the United States,” revealed another part in the registration statement’s second exhibit.

It added: “We attempted to set up a meeting with the Atlantic Council for Mr. Abubakar, but that meeting ultimately never occurred. No outreach was done with respect to USAID or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

In attempting to obtain a visa for Abubakar, according to the document, the help of the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy to Nigeria, Anton Smith, was sought multiple times.

It also revealed that the aim of the contract itself is the “election of Atiku Abubakar to the Presidency of Nigeria”.

Twelve years since his last visit, Abubakar finally travelled to the US in January.

During the trip, he lodged at the Trump International Hotel, had a meeting with Nigerians, met with Congressman Chris Smith, and spoke at the US Chamber of Commerce.

The contents of the documents obtained contradicts the statement of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who said Abubakar “was invited to attend functions”.

Abubakar himself said his trip to the US was not lobbied for but an invitation.

Another $30,000 to get US recognition as president

Atiku’s battle for recognition as Nigeria’s duly elected president in the last general elections is not restricted to the local judicial system. He and the PDP are also spending to influence the US government to grant him this recognition.

In a second document obtained by The ICIR with registration number 6654, it was disclosed that he hired Fein & Delvalle PLLC, a Washington DC-based law firm, for the “provision of legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner of the 2019 election” until outstanding legal challenges to the declared results have been resolved without influence or manipulation.

This was for a lump sum of $30,000, to cover office space rental, domestic travel, among other expenses, and will last for a total of 90 days.

The United States government has, however, already congratulated Muhammadu Buhari “on his re-election” shortly after the election. A week after its conduct, a statement released by Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State, described the exercise as “a successful presidential election” and noted “the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election”.

Fein & Delvalle is to consult with Congress members towards passing House and Senate resolutions to restrain from a final recognition of a winner pending a fair determination of the legal issues, draft articles and op-eds “to spotlight the issues in Nigeria post-2019 presidential election and to promote the rule of law and due process in resolving electoral disputes in Nigeria”, and finally “make television and other media appearances to engage in public advocacy discussions of these issues”.

“Fein & Delvalle PLLC will establish and operate a Situation Room located in their Capitol Hill offices at 300 New Jersey Ave., NW, Suite 900, Washington, D.C,” read a letter addressed to Atiku Abubakar by the firm and attached to the form.

“A Nigerian Barrister and trusted confidant of Your-Excellency, Dr. Lloyd Ukwu, will assist in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room, which will be a focal point for information forwarded by your Nigeria-based Command Center Situation Room and otherwise obtained to execute strategies to secure
international/and United States endorsement of your efforts to defeat the flagrant violence and illegalities orchestrated by the APC and President Buhari to corrupt and compromise the February 23, 2019, presidential election in subversion of the will of the Nigerian People.”

The firm also agreed to convince the United States that an Atiku presidency would “open a fresh arid new chapter in Nigerian politics in order to accommodate its pluralism and ethnic, religious, and tribal diversity while fostering liberty equality, freedom, and due process”.

The first $1 million deal

As far as the 2019 general elections go, the latest revelations bring the number of deals struck with US lawyers and lobbyists by Atiku Abubakar to a minimum of three.

In September, the PDP, on behalf of its presidential candidate, also signed a one-year contract with Ballard, President of Ballard Partners, a popular lobbying firm based in the US ostensibly to lobby the American government in advancing its interests.

The agreement’s recitals stated that “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.”

It added: “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.”

It is believed that what could have been a long-term travel ban affecting Atiku was waived by the US government as a result of services rendered by the lobbying firm.

Click HERE to view all attached documents

Credit: ICIR

BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)




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BIG STORY

Buhari Is Not In Charge Of Aso Rock —- Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he does not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on PlusTv Africa, the renowned writer said the answer to the nation’s problem is decentralization, adding that there’s a need for the people to be historically conscious.

Soyinka was reacting to an open letter written by Umar Dangiwa, retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna, to Buhari over the president’s knack for appointing people from his section of the country into office.

“First of all, I was appalled by the silence that followed this revelation. I think those who are responsible for this criminal lopsidedness should be punished. It is not sufficient just to discuss it. It’s criminal,” Soyinka said.

“I have said this before. I don’t believe there is really anybody in charge in Aso Rock. I’m sorry to say this. I’ve been studying the trend over the past year and a half and I believe this president is not in charge of this nation, in so many aspects and directions. I’m convinced he’s not really and totally with it.

“It’s so serious. It is not the fact alone, we know the history of this. We know what it has caused the nation and we know it isn’t over yet. And you say are launching an enquiry. That’s not enough. This man is not in charge.”




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BIG STORY

Police Arrest 3 Brothers For The Kidnap and Murder Of A Mother Of 5 In Abuja, Exhume Corpse Of The Deceased For Forensic Examination [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

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Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested three (3) suspects namely; Johnson Emmanuel – 38yrs, Gideon Emmanuel – 31yrs and Success Emmanuel – 27yrs for the kidnap and gruesome murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on 14th May 2020.

The suspects, born by same parents, all-male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.

Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is a sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, a native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5-Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released. A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect. The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect had killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5-Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release. ​

Meanwhile, on 4th June 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.

A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.

Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while commending the operatives for a job well done, reassures that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished. He, however, enjoins citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.





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