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FBI clears Atiku

Posted by From LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2006/05/23 | Views: 647 |

FBI clears Atiku


The dust raised by the search of Vice President, Atiku Abubabar’s United States home by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has finally settled with his being cleared by the security agency.

The dust raised by the search of Vice President, Atiku Abubabar’s United States home by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has finally settled with his being cleared by the security agency.

The FBI, armed with a warrant, had searched the vice president’s home in August last year following the indictment of American congressman, William Jefferson who was alleged to have bribed Atiku with $100,000 to facilitate a communications deal in Nigeria.

Although the vice president denied any wrongdoing in the case, a shadow was somehow cast on his innocence.

A statement issued on Monday by the vice president’s office and signed by his Deputy Press Secretary, Mallam Mohammed Yakub, said the FBI’s further investigations into the matter had established Atiku as a victim of Jefferson’s greed and name-dropping scam.

The report made public by the secret agency showed the American congressman never passed on any money to the vice president as claimed, rather the money was found in Jefferson’s home concealed in his freezer.

Subsequently, the American investigation bureau, which has Jefferson on tape collecting the money from an undercover agent, cleared the vice president of any wrong doing on the matter.
The statement stressed that “Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the celebrated investigation of American Congressman, William Jefferson over a communication project for Nigeria.

“The FBI clearance was contained in the course of its investigations into the matter. The affidavit revealed that FBI investigation confirmed that Jefferson collected $100,000 (about N14m) from the communication company. The money was never passed to Vice President Abubakar. Instead, Jefferson kept the money in his home although in a taped FBI sting, he said that he passed the money to Abubakar.”

The statement further pointed out that “the FBI finding on the matter is a clear indication of how innocent hardworking men and women get their reputation damaged by unscrupulous people they sometimes encounter in the course of official business”.

The statement reads in full: “Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the celebrated investigation of American Congressman, William Jefferson over a communication project for Nigeria.

“The FBI clearance was contained in the affidavit deposed by the American Investigation Bureau in the course of its investigations into the matter. The affidavit revealed that FBI investigation confirmed that Jefferson collected $100,000 (about N14m) from the communication company. The money was never passed to Vice President Abubakar. Instead, Jefferson kept the money in his home although in a taped FBI sting, he said that he passed the money to Abubakar.

“Jefferson collected the $100,000 from the businessman and FBI informant on July 30. He had a meeting with Vice President Atiku on August 1. He told the businessman that he passed the money to Atiku Abubakar same day. However, the money was found stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminium foil when the FBI searched his home on August 3, 2005.

“Vice President Abubakar has consistently denied any wrongdoing in his interaction with Jefferson. He maintained that he met Jefferson on the introduction of the Nigerian Embassy in the United States, which enthused that he had a proposal for foreign investment in Nigeria. Abubakar had also argued that since Jefferson was Chairman of the American House Sub-Committee on Nigeria and Brazil, he had no reason to decline the request of the Nigerian Embassy on him to meet Jefferson.

“Abubakar had further maintained that there was nothing secret in his interaction with Jefferson because the proposal for the communication project was forwarded to the Ministry of Communications by his office, using the official channel. The Ministry of Communications exchanged correspondence with the office of the Vice President on the subject.

“The affidavit, unsealed on Sunday by an American Magistrate Court claimed that Jefferson was caught on video-tape collecting a reddish-brown briefcase containing $100,000 in $100 bills.
“It adds that Jefferson assured the FBI informant in their coded conversations that he paid the Nigerian official, even though the money was still in Jefferson’s possession when the agents searched his home August 3, two days after he claimed to have passed the money to Abubakar.

“The FBI finding on the matter is a clear indication of how innocent hardworking men and women get their reputation damaged by unscrupulous people they sometimes encounter in the course of official business.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.