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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

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Rejects APC’s Request To Review Bayelsa Judgment, Upholds Judgment Sacking David Lyon

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The supreme court has struck out the application of the All Progressive Congress (APC) seeking a reversal of the judgment which sacked David Lyon as the winner of the Bayelsa governorship election.

The apex court held that the application constitutes a gross abuse of the judicial process.

On February 13, the supreme court affirmed the verdict of a federal high court which disqualified Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, Lyon’s running mate, for allegedly submitting forged credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

As a result, the court also voided the victory of Lyon on the grounds that both men contested the election on a joint ticket.

A seven-member panel of the court, led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, dismissed the two applications filed and argued for the applicants by Afe Babalola (SAN) and Wole Onanipekun (SAN), and held that the applications were without merit and amounted to an abuse of court process.

Justice Amina Augie, who read the lead ruling, said the application was an attempt to make the court violate its rules and the. provision of the Constitution which makes it the final court of the land.

Justice Augie said the applications if granted has the capacity of belittling the dignity and status of the court and open a floodgate for such requests in the future.

She expressed regret that senior lawyers in the country could be involved in the filing of such applications.

Justice Augie awarded N10milion cost for each of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents (the PDP, its governorship and deputy governorship in the last election) – Sen. Duoye Diri and. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo – to be paid personally by the applicant’s lawyers.

Afe Babalola (SAN) represented the 1st and 2nd applicants (Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo), while Wole Olanipekun (SAN) represented the APC.

More to follow…

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Lagos Government To Remove Bus Garage, Mechanic Workshops, Kiosks, Others Around Public Schools

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The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it would begin pulling down shanties, kiosks, and removal of bus garages, as well as other illegal market structures erected near the state public schools, a move said to take effect after seven days ultimatum issued to owners of those structures, by the government.

As said, the clearing, according to the ultimatum sighted by PorscheClassy News, would affect owners and occupants of illegal structures, shanties, mechanic workshops, kiosks and commercial bus garages surrounding public schools in Mile 2, along Badagry expressway.

The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce), in a statement issued on Wednesday through its Public Affairs Unit Head, Adebayo Taofiq, confirmed that a seven-day ‘Removal Notice’ had been issued to owners of illegal structures and workshops located around public schools, and that, it was a decision which was made by the state government to ensure safety of students.

Taofiq explained that the task force chairman, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had discussed ultimatum issuance with a gathering of illegal owners and occupants, as well as traders, mechanics and sectional heads of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and warned them to immediately vacate stipulated areas within vicinity of the schools within time allocated.

He affirmed that the removal order became imperative following an outcry by residents, particularly managements of Imoye High School and Amuwo Odofin Junior Secondary School, that criminal elements had turned the region into hideouts for carrying out their nefarious activities thereby making the environment unconducive for learning.

“These children are the future of our nation, it is thus, left to us, what we make of them,”

“In light of this, it has become necessary to facilitate conducive learning environments around our schools. It is disheartening to allow illegal business operators to turn schools surroundings to a market place while the vicinity becomes a dumpsite of refuse”.

Furthermore, Taofiq added that investigation conducted had revealed that the illegal structures and shanties served as home to criminal elements who rob unsuspecting members of public, making off with valuables along highways on Lagos- Badagry expressway, and added that the occupants had received no government permit or operating license from the state government.

He reiterated that, immediately after the expiration of the evacuation order notice on Monday, 3rd of March, 2020, Task Force operatives would embark on a clean-up exercise in the area, as well as a clampdown on all criminal elements.

The Task Force, however, cautioned traders and occupants not to make a financial contribution or bribe anyone in order to prevent or stop the removal order, stressing that the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had approved monetary compensation for those who deserved it.

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Lagos Pastor, Wife Remanded In Prison For Stealing N63.5m Belonging To Dead Woman

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Tuesday, remanded a pastor and his wife in custody of Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) facility for allegedly stealing N63.5 million belonging to certain late Mrs. Odemuyiwa Janet Adeola.

The defendants, the senior pastor of Temple International Church, Lagos, Harry Uyanwanne and wife, Oluwakemi were arraigned alongside their church.

They are facing a seven-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, stealing and obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 278, 278 (1) (b), 285, 285(1) of the criminal law of Lagos state of Nigeria, No 11, 2011 and section 1 (2) and (3) Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offenses Act before Justice Mojisola Dada.

Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) prosecutor Mr. S.O Daji, told the court that the couple sold the property of one late Mrs. Odemuyiwa Janet Adeola at plot 32, block 9, Magodo Residential Scheme 1, Ikeja local government to one Mr. Kingsley Atere for N42, 000,000

He further stated that the defendants dishonestly converted the sum of N10 million being proceeded of the property of late Mrs. Odemuyiwa Janet Adeola to their own use.

According to the charge sheet, “Harry Uyanwanne, Oluwakemi Odemuyiwa (aka Kristein Uyanwanna) and Temple International Church on or about March 18, 2016, converted to your own use the sum of N10, 000,000 property of late Mrs. Odemuyiwa Janet Adeola.”

The charge further stated:” Harry Uyanwanne and Oluwakemi Odemuyiwa (aka Kristein Uyanwanne) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Lagos, by false pretense and with intent to defraud sold the property known as plot 32, Block 9, Magodo Residential Scheme 1, Ikeja local Government to one Mr. Kingsley Atere for the sum of N42million on the false representation that you were authorized to sell the property by the Bonafide owner, late Mrs. Odemuyiwa Janet Adeola which representation you know was false”.

The couple pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor, Daji urged the court to remand them in view of the not guilty plea of defendants.

He also asked the court for a trial date.

Justice Dada remanded the defendants in the medium correctional facility.

She adjourned the matter until May 5, 6 and 7, 2020.

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