Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

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US probes Nigeria vice-president

Posted by BBC News on 2005/08/29 | Views: 1115 |

US probes Nigeria vice-president

The US government says federal agents have raided the Maryland home of Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

The US government says federal agents have raided the Maryland home of Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

The search took place on 3 August, but officials refused to confirm reports that it was linked to raids on homes belonging to a Louisiana congressman.

William Jefferson is being investigated over the financing of a high-tech company and his properties were searched on the same day.

There has been no comment on the case from Mr Abubakar.

Low profile

Mr Jefferson, a Democrat who has served eight terms in the House of Representatives, has come under scrutiny as the FBI looks into an international telecommunications deal.

Investigators are interested in Mr Jefferson's links with Mr Abubakar and the vice-president of Ghana, Aliu Mahama, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

According to the newspaper, Mr Jefferson visited Ghana in mid-July.

Although he is technically the second most powerful man in Nigeria, Mr Abubakar has kept a low profile in recent months, says the BBC's Grant Ferrett.

Political manoeuvres within the governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) have undermined his ambitions to stand for the presidency in elections scheduled to take place in two years' time.

Previously a close ally of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, he is now believed to be out of favour.

This has prompted some observers to question whether the FBI investigations are linked to the disagreements with the PDP.

Mr Abubakar reportedly only uses his home in Potomac, Maryland for a few months each year.

His wife, Jennifer, is a doctoral student in international relations at the American University in Washington.

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