There is confusion about how and why former Vice President of the People’s Democratic Party in Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, got into the United States. It is now being speculated that he may have bought his passage into the country.
Abubakar had been linked to several corruption scandals in Nigeria. He was initially banned from the United States but managed to make his way out of Nigeria and into USA, with help from an unlikely source.
The firms Holland & Knight and the Bellard Partners are believed to have received handsome sums of money to secure Atiku’s entry into the USA. The entry has not been cheap, reportedly over USD 170K was split between the two firms.
It is thought that the two US-based lobbying firms see Atiku as a way to a better democracy in Nigeria and that he is not in fact corrupt. It is the current Nigerian politician’s desire for Nigerian people to see its opposition as corrupt.
Abubakar’s name first came up in the Siemens broadband contract in the mid 2000s, a contract that involved a scandal between Nigerians and American officials. The contract was awarded to iGate, an American company, and it was thought the contract was unfairly awarded. William Jefferson, a US Federal lawmaker, had a huge interest in iGate and in Abubakar.
Abubakar’s supporters are standing firmly beside their ex-presidential hope, saying that the alleged bribery into the USA is fake news. They feel there are alternate political games at stake and points to be scored, and it is in Abubakar’s opponent’s interests to blacken his name.
Although Abubakar had been banned from entering into the USA, a temporary suspension of the ban helped him secure a visa and allowed him to travel. This suspension was because of the lobbying by these firms, saying the US administration should not snub the politician. It was with the help of the above-mentioned firms that Abubakar managed to obtain his visa.
In less than two weeks, polls will be conducted in Nigeria, on the 16th of February. Elections are hoped to be free and fair. The eyes of the world will be on Nigeria’s two parties – the National Party of Nigeria and the People’s Democratic Party.
The PDP is thought to have made huge deals and received large sums of money from the US lobbyists, although these are still allegations and have not been proven.