Corruption: The US Senate report that finally nailed Atiku Abubakar

Disappointed: Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has for a long time been challenging Nigerians who accused him of being corrupt to come forward and prove it. So far nobody has come forward.

Well, PMNEWS has received a report on how Atiku was the subject of a probe ten years ago, by a United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin.

The report detailed how Atiku Abubakar while still the vice president of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008, used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer Douglas.

Specifically, the report said Jennifer Douglas, an American citizen, helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.

In 2004, the then President Bush barred Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States.

The US Senate probe was motivated by US government concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles, and the rule of law.

“It is also blamed for distorting markets, deterring investment, deepening poverty, undermining international aid efforts, and fostering crime. Some have drawn connections between corruption, failed states, and terrorism. Corruption also continues to be a massive problem. The World Bank has estimated that $1 trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year,” the committee noted in its bulky report.

Atiku was not the only foreign Politically Exposed Person(PEP) probed by the committee. He had company in Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, now the 48-year-old son of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the President of Equatorial Guinea (EG), late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo and three Angolan PEP accounts, involving an Angolan arms dealer, an Angolan government official, and a small Angolan private bank.

The committee submitted its report on 4 February 2010, three years after Atiku left office.

The report unveiled violations of US laws by Atiku and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas. It also included revelations about Siemens bribe paid into one of the accounts, and it possibly provided the basis for Atiku being barred from entering the United States, since then.

This Report examines how politically powerful foreign officials, their relatives, and close associates – referred to in international agreements as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – have used the services of U.S. professionals and financial institutions to bring large amounts of suspect funds into the United States to advance their interests. Using four case histories, this Report shows how some PEPs have used U.S. lawyers, real estate and escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers, and even university officials, to circumvent U.S. anti-money laundering and anti- corruption safeguards. This Report also offers recommendations to stop the abuses.

Here is a summary of the report:

Atiku Case History.

From 2000 to 2008, Jennifer Douglas, a U.S. citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and former candidate for President of Nigeria, helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.

In a 2008 civil complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2 million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002, from Siemens AG, a major German corporation.

While Ms. Douglas denies wrongdoing, Siemens has already pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges and settled civil charges related to bribery and told the Subcommittee that it sent the payments to one of her U.S. accounts.

In 2007, Mr. Atiku was the subject of corruption allegations in Nigeria related to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.

Of the $40 million in suspect funds, $25 million was wire transferred by offshore corporations into more than 30 U.S. bank accounts opened by Ms. Douglas, primarily by Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., LetsGo Ltd. Inc., and Sima Holding Ltd.

The U.S. banks maintaining those accounts were, at times, unaware of her PEP status, and they allowed multiple, large offshore wire transfers into her accounts. As each bank began to question the offshore wire transfers, Ms. Douglas indicated that all of the funds came from her husband and professed little familiarity with the offshore corporations actually sending her money.

When one bank closed her account due to the offshore wire transfers, her lawyer helped convince other banks to provide a new account. In addition, two of the offshore corporations wire transferred about $14 million over five years to American University in Washington, D.C., to pay for consulting services related to the development of a Nigerian university founded by Mr. Atiku Abubakar.

American University accepted the wire transfers without asking about the identity of the offshore corporations or the source of their funds, because under current law, the University had no legal obligation to inquire.

Executive Summary

Combating corruption is a key U.S. value and goal, due to its corrosive effects on the rule of law, economic development, and democratic principles. In 2001, the Patriot Act made the acceptance of foreign corruption proceeds a U.S. money laundering offense for the first time, and required banks to apply enhanced scrutiny to private banking accounts opened for senior foreign political figures, their relatives, and close associates. In 2003, the United States supported the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, now ratified by over 140 countries. Also in 2003, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) formed an investigative group dedicated to combating foreign corruption by PEPs. In 2004, President Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 7750 denying U.S. visas to foreign officials involved with corruption, and Congress later enacted supporting legislation. A 2009 study sponsored by the World Bank analyzed PEP controls worldwide and recommended stronger measures to reduce corruption.

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (Subcommittee) initiated this investigation to learn how U.S. laws apply to PEPs utilizing the domestic financial system, and examine how foreign senior political figures, their relatives, and close associates may be circumventing or undermining anti-money laundering (AML) and PEP controls to bring funds that may be the product of foreign corruption into the United States. It is the latest in a series of Subcommittee hearings examining foreign corruption and its U.S. aiders and abettors.

During the course of its investigation, the Subcommittee staff conducted over 100 interviews, including interviews of lawyers, real estate agents, escrow agents, lobbyists, bankers, university professionals, and government officials. The Subcommittee issued over 50 subpoenas and reviewed millions of pages of documents, including bank records, correspondence, contracts, emails, property records, flight records, news articles, and court pleadings. In addition, the Subcommittee consulted with foreign officials, international organizations, financial regulators, and experts in anti-money laundering and anti-corruption efforts.

56 COMMENTS

  1. one by one,God will definitely reveal all of the leaders that taught they were just going to rub the Nigerians of what belongs to them..Atiku just be ready because you are yet to be addressed, all the evil you have done is definitely coming to you

  2. May almighty Allah revealed and hook those who put our country in trouble from head to toe

  3. Before he left PDP, he said they are beyond redemption. I wonder why PDP is now the right platform for him to achieve his political dreams. To clear all doubts, he should visit the US…

  4. Dear Mr Atiku, if you are wanted in US, you are finished. Those who are following you are finished, politically. Hence your opportunity to be Nigerian president has vanished to thin air. Your antecedent, your corruption tendencies, moving from party to party, and your call for twisted restructuring propaganda is against US and Nigerian interest.

  5. Atiku had been politically destroyed long time ago by the bulldozer – OBJ. Nigerians will surely vote for integrity, which unfortunately Atiku lacks. He was even bold to throw the challenge that whoever has any evidence if corruption should speak up. Now they have spoken. If care is not taken his case will be from presidency to the prison. He should just visit the US

  6. Some people don’t even know who AA is. PDP is a party of steal the money and need an expert in the field. Thank God for Nigeria

  7. America’s i like your stylish set of confusion to Africas! You guys have enough to manage, your Donald T. and N.Korea.

  8. If Alhaj Atiku Abubakar, is innocent of the American security allegations, let him travel to the USA-point of entry to convince Nigerian voters of his innocence. Alhaj Atiku Abubakar, is a wanted felon for corruption bribes detected in former congress-man William Jefferson,s home refrigerator.This is why chief Olusegun Obasanjo, would not ever write any good reference-letter for Alhaj Atiku Abubakar, despite serving under him for eight years as his vice-president.Alhaj Atiku Abubakar, stinks of endemic corruption stains which are indelible stains on Alhaj Atiku Abubakar.

  9. Lies and propaganda, show me the saint if not Jesus…. Atiku is the man to bring at least 20% of the needed change. is Donald Trump a saint? didn’t he fraudulently won US election with the aid of Russian hackers, so who are they to judge and decides for us?? the populace decision is that Atiku should lead for now, who ever oppose to that should come out and contest everyone is free to aspire for the office. But enough of this propaganda so we can move forward. In as much as we cannot find the saint in Buhari, then let the man with the language of diversifying the country lead. “AAA” for 2019

    • I wonder when I see people like former vice president Atiku Abubakar patronising themselves as our Messiah. The no 1 robbers Nigeria ever had. Political prostitutes, the burgeoise, over ambitious, selfish and convetious fellow. Tell him that, he is a failure now. I rest my case.

    • My brother all these are coming up because Atiku ditched APC since Atiku was still with APC nobody raised this issue, why now?

    • What effort did Atiku make to diversify the economy when he was a V/P. Instead he was busy siphoning our money.
      Nigerians forget too soon but always hoping that the next one will be better.
      Well, I trust OBJ- he has picked up his torn party card. Guess what motive?

  10. Your Comment
    The so – called Saints in their quest to stamp out corruption and deliver good governance, have ended up disappointing the citizenry and dragging the name of the country through the mud. Now, we will try the popular adage that says ‘ the devil you know is better than the angel you have not seen ‘
    ATIKU all the way!!

    • I don’t think you have anything in your upstairs. Continue to encourage nd celebrate rogues .hence you people can not identify your left hand from your right hand.

  11. Your Comment
    The so – called Saints in their quest to stamp out corruption and deliver good governance, have repeatedly ended up disappointing the citizenry and dragging the name of the country through the mud. Now, we will try the popular adage that says ‘ the devil you know is better than the angel you’ve not seen ‘
    ATIKU all the way!!

  12. It baffles me much when I see some politicians trying to play over Nigerians’ intelligence. They see themselves as tacticians in the game of football who can substitute a player for another…

    When these group of people left PDP, you sang praises for them and welcome them to your party (the party of the saints), used them and their resources (which today you are referring to as I’ll gotten wealth)

    when the same men sponsored APC, they were saints and now that they are changing to another parties, they have become subjects of your insults.

    Today you are bringing out a report which could be referred to as baseless, malicious and treacherous aiming at tarnishing the image of your subject because:
    1. You have not shown Nigerians the validity of the purported report
    2. Where did you keep this report until now?
    3. Are you trying to tell Nigerians that APC was sponsored with I’ll gotten wealth?
    4. Could that be the reason why Nigerian are suffering g today more than ever before?….
    5. Is the publisher of this article clean? if yes, then is there any saint among the contenders?….

    Thus, let us submit to God all the contenders for him to select for Nigeria its leaders.

  13. IF I WERE IN POSITION OF FORMER VP ATIKU, I WISH RUSH GO TO AMERICA TO GO AND DEFEND MYSELF ABOUT THESE ALLEGATION SO THAT MY NAME WILL NOT BE TARNISH

    • America is not a place Atiku can rush to! You are not aware that Atiku had apply for Americal visa many times and he was denied. so stop telling to rush to America. Most of you talk nonsense without knowing that you are senseless

    • I don’t think you have anything in your upstairs. Continue to encourage nd celebrate rogues .hence you people can not identify your left hand from your right hand.

  14. Your Comment
    Thus is an opener for all Nigerians. Enough is enough for corrupt politicians to lead us. Going through roads in his state shows the man, Atiku, just want to be President for nothing but to continue his corruption tendencies. The Almighty Allah will safe Nigeria and Nigerians.

  15. OBJ that labelled him ‘corrupt’, why did he not arrest and jail him, even as a President, the all-powerful?
    That is how they use cheap lies and propaganda to keep competent leaders away from our presidency so they continue continue fleecing our commonwealth. The so called ‘saints’, how have they changed Nigeria?
    We are no longer going to remain stupid. We are going to give tgat ‘corrupt’ Atiku a chance, this time arround.

  16. What else is new aside from this over 10 years old OBJ propaganda? If the man has been found to violate any US laws, why has US not requested him from Nigeria yet? Or don’t they know who and where he is. If he is trully corrupt, why is he still roaming the streets of Nigeria a free man. OBJ and Buhari that are not corrupt, how many corrupt politicians have they jailed?
    Please, let nobody try to pull a wool over our eyes anymore. This time arround we are wiser and are voting Atiku. He is trying to be President of Nigeria, not the US.

  17. Anyway, Alhaj Atiku Abubakar,is facing credibility challenges with his names and image, dented by numerous indelible corruption scandals in Nigeria, during his tenure as vice-president to chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Till present day, Alhaj Atiku Abubakar, can not obtain a credible and good reference from chief Olusegun Obasanjo, having served as vice-president under him for eight good years.
    Also, Atiku Abubakar, must go back and clear his endemic bribery dented names with the American congress espeecilly former congress-man, William Jefferson, in whose home,s refrigerator FBI agents detected and recovered huge bribes meant for Alhaj Abubakar, as bribes lodged with the congress-m,an William Jefferson, in bid to win an oil/gas -contract from Nigeria-Federal Government. Atiku Abubakar is corruption-damaged now backed with PDP-epitome of corruption-culture-political party.

  18. welcome to aso rock you excellency. polygamy luckily is not a crime in nigeria, actually nothing is. nigeria is a joke.

  19. From your claims was MS Douglas indicted by any US court? and how many years jail sentence? all are lies. Let’s be truthful, simply because ATIKU have left the APC train he has become a villain!!!
    Buhari has been moving from one party to another without anyone raising eyebrows, so let ATIKU be

    • Nonesense! This man Atiku is barred from entering the US since over 10 years. That is fact. For what reason? Provide answer to that.

  20. Why is Atiku so desperate to rule Nigeria? See the way his fellow shameless PDP nest of looters are jubilating that an estranged member is back. Well like OBJ will say, I dey laugh o. Nigerians are watching and waiting.

  21. Atiku is so corrupt that no medicine can remove corruption form his blood. All is businesses are from stolen funds including his university

  22. This is a bombshell to Atiku’s political career! There’s no way he can become President of Nigeria. We don’t need a corrupt man like him as our President.

  23. That report was just a Senate subcommittee report. Why can’t they pressed charges against Ms. Douglas is the report can stand the test of legality? The Senate has no power to declare anyone or organization guilty without the pronouncement of a competent court of law. As far a law is concerned, they remain allegations. If you have enough evidences compel the U.S.Senate to institute a case. Pls don’t come here to discredit Atiku based on a report that could not fly in court

    • Ms Douglas fled the US and relocated to Dubai when she knew she could be charged. Till now, she is still living in Dubai and dares not venture into the US. The lawyer being used by Atiku was jailed. If Atiku, the principal had made himself available in the US, he could have been charged and possibly jailed as well.

    • Please name any one politician in Nigeria that you know has integrity. They are all birds of the same feathers. Is it not baffling that the fighters of corruption are themselves more corrupt than the corruption they are fighting.

  24. I hope this is not a sponsored writeup, why now that he decamped to another party we are getting this report. What happened to the collaborators, why is the money still in the US not returned to Nigerian government if it was illegal. Let this government take action if this report is not another story against opposition. God will judge everyone according to their deeds.

  25. Where were these people who now see Atiku’s reports from USA. A case of wrongs in the Nigerian government administration. Shame on you!

    • Atiku was not contesting and that was why this was lying low. The accusation has always been dogging every step that Atiku took for some years now. We should expect all his shady deals to come to the fore now that he has expressed interest in the highest office in the land. Or are you suggesting that people should not scrutinize Atiku’s character, service records and business interests? Everything will now come under the searching light. The same goes for everyone contesting any high office everywhere in the world.

  26. This is interesting… So, Without the involvement of the American intelligence No one or agent here would have been able to make this report available and atiku-abubakar will still be running His mouth to all who cares to listen or not.

    • fools, even without the report ,custom officer ,a civil service man ,a vice president having well over 2 billion dollars in assets ,you cannot use your brain to figure out where he got all that money .i believe obj bombshell on ATIKU will surface…Calculator, Manipulator and Atikulator

    • Atiku challenged anyone with proof of corruption against him to bring it forward. Please read his interview with Dele Momodu. It is not a matter of leaving APC, it was his mouth that is bringing his pass deeds into the open now, more is on the way.
      What an interesting time in Nigeria to hear all manner of can of worms.

  27. The idiot called Atiku is here talking politics to criminal PDP who will never have someone of clean records to lead them.

    Atiku, take a stroll to USA and we see if you will return to contest the presidency which you think is a must for you. Corrupt custom officer with any history of family wealth living on stolen and corrupt means

    • You nailed it. Let him come to the states and if he goes back to Nigeria without any issue, then I will fly back to Nigeria during elections to vote for him (if we don’t have the opportunity to vote here).

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