THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – In the past few years, former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has not been able to travel to the United States (US).
This may be because the former vice president is afraid a warrant is out in the US for his arrest, a new report suggests.
The report noted that US authorities might have issued a warrant for the arrest of Atiku owing to a broadband contract awarded to iGate, an American company which Williams Jefferson who was then a US federal lawmaker from Louisiana had interest in.
It said Jefferson reportedly used his influence and friendship with Atiku to get the contract and planned to pay kickbacks to some Nigerian officials, including the former vice president.
In a secrectly recorded conversation with the FBI, Jefferson disclosed that Atiku was to receive $500,000 for influencing the deal at the time.
Jefferson had lost his representative seat and served jail term in US owing to this. But Atiku was not prosecuted in Nigeria and it remained unclear if he was indicted in the US over the issue.
The former vice president who is interested in contending for office of president in 2019 told journalists that he had actually made attempt to visit US but was not issued a visa for administrative reasons.
‘I applied, but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically either. They’ve only said my application is going through administrative process.
It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America.’
He also explained that such administrative denials were not issued to him alone, claiming that President Buhari could not enter US for 15 years too because of his religious views.
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